The Global Mail
By Gordon Weiss
World's purest olive oil: Italy? Nup. Spanish? Wrong again. Better testing shows it's often Australians making the exta viginest.
Australians have been guzzling mislabelled extra virgin olive oil for years, paying premium prices for foreign oil that is cometimes little better than fancy lighter fluid. Like good French grog, Italian olive oil once had an unequalled culinary reputation to match its price. That evocative origin - harvesters singing bel canto on sun-splashed slopes - gave Italy a marker lead now eroded by corruption scandals. At the same time, newcomer producers, including Australia, are making great oils unequalled in quality assurance.
There is some fine exported extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) sold by reliable suppliers in Australia. But the Australian Olive Association says that in December 2011 more than half of supermarket EVOO failed international standards, and that 92 per cent of those were imported.
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