Date: Sunday, 8-Jan-2017 16:17:03
1. Extra Virgin olive oil is the first cold-pressing (no heat) of olives. It's the most flavorful, since it's relatively unfiltered & therefore contains tiny bits of real olives. This feature also means it's got the lowest smoke point* among olive oils (some exceptions are Spanish Picudo and Greek Koroneiki, which are sometimes used for high heat cooking).
2. Virgin olive oil is identical to Extra Virgin except it's got a slightly higher acidic content.
3. Regular Olive Oil is produced by a second pressing, under heat, of the same olives used in 1 or 2 above. It's much less flavorful than 1 and 2 but usually suitable for high-heat applications.
4. Light olive oil has the same fat content as 3 above, but is highly filtered and therefore has the highest smoke point of all.
*"Smoke Point" is of course the temperature at which the oil will start smoking. Here's a culinary secret: butter has an extremely low smoke point. Butter combined with Light olive oil has a much higher smoke point but still lends a buttery flavor to food.