Why use anything but virgin olive oil? Australian extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed and preferably organic. But let's face it, who can afford $20/litre for olive oil. There are 4 types of olive oil:
- Extra Virgin
- Light and Extra Light.
The most healthy and best tasting of these olive oils is "extra virgin". This is made by the first - cold pressing of the olives. No chemicals, and by far the best tasting. I would recommend only using extra virgin.
Virgin olive oil is the second pressing of the olives (again apparently cold press), where as Pure is the third pressing of the olives . Apparently it also involves the use of heat, chemicals and other types of filters. The light and extra light, is the most inferior grade of olive oil. I have garnered this information from other sources, however from my own experience, I can't see any point in using light or pure olive oil. If you don't like the taste of olive oil, why not use an alternative such as macadamia oil. If you want to use an oil for high temperature cooking, don't even think of virgin olive oil, there are many other options again such as grape seed oil, vegetable oil or my favourite ghee.
I favour Australian olive oil, because it tastes better. I have heard rumours that Australian olive oil was tested against European olive oils and came out on top.
Some tips when buying olive oil.
If you are buying in bottles, remember to buy oil in darkened glass such as brown or green, as apparently sunlight hastens the breakdown of oil.