In Styria, one finds pumpkin seed oil in nearly every kitchen. Its unique flavor is gaining more fans outside of Austria. Take a closer look at this very tasty bestseller!
Why does pumpkin seed oil come from Styria?
There are two reasons: tradition and farming.
Styrians have been farming oil pumpkins for a long time. The first written record of farming existed as early as the first half of the 18th century.
At that time, the Styrian oil pumpkin did not yet exist in its present form. At that time, there were not yet pumpkin breeds that did not have a woody shell. Careful breeding developed the modern variety of pumpkin that is responsible for today's delicious pumpkin seed oil. In 1870, the modern oil pumpkin first appeared in Styria.
Has pumpkin seed oil always been so popular?
That depends on your perspective. Pumpkin seed oil has always been highly sought after, but was rarely eaten, as it was originally intended for pharmacies. Pharmacies valued the oil due to its various remedies. In 1773, was authorities forbid that the oil be wasted in culinary measures, it was far too valuable as a medicine. In the following centuries, more and more oil was produced, repealing this regulation. However, most farmers only produced the oil for their own consumption. Up until the 1980s, almost no one outside of Austria knew about the value of the oil, but since then, it has been growing in popularity.
Is pumpkin seed oil healthy?
In short: Yes, it is.
Styrian pumpkin seed oil contains many valuable ingredients that are essential for the body. In addition to B group vitamins and the vitamins A, C and E, it contains a lot of minerals such as potassium, selenium and zinc. With approximately 80% unsaturated fatty acids and many antioxidants, it is very conducive to health.
How is pumpkin seed oil used?
Pumpkin seed oil consists of 80% unsaturated fatty acids, which means it shouldn't be heated. Instead, it is mainly used in cold dishes. It fits perfectly with salads of all kinds and has a nutty flavor. It also adds great color and flavor as a garnish or finish for appetizers, main courses and even desserts.
How is pumpkin seed oil produced?
After the pumpkin harvest in autumn, the seeds are separated from the pulp, which is often still done manually. Then, the seeds are washed and dried. The dry seeds can be stored until more oil is needed. This has the advantage that the oil can always be freshly prepared. To prepare the oil, the seeds are ground and mixed with water and salt. The mix is then roasted, which fully develop the flavors. After the remaining water evaporates, the mass is pressed. To obtain one delicious liter of seed oil, one needs 30 to 35 pumpkins, or about 2.5 kg.