Steirisches Kürbiskernöl | © fredredhat |

Pumpkin seed oil

Styrian oil pumpkin (cucurbita pepo var. Styriaca) is cultivated and harvested in South Styria with great care. These yellowy-orange "Plutzern", as they are colloquially known, produce pumpkin seed oil - Styria's "Green Gold".

Nutty, thick oil, unique in colour and flavour, is produced from the pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seed oil is considered very valuable, as a lot of work goes into growing, harvesting and producing it. Once the pumpkins have been carefully cleaned, the manufacturing process can begin in earnest.  First, the seeds are cleaned and roasted. Then, the pumpkin seed oil is pressed using traditional methods. Believe it or not, 2.5 to 3 kg of dried and roasted seeds are required to produce one litre of pumpkin seed oil. In total, that's 30 to 40 pumpkins to be processed mechanically, and partly by hand. In South Styria, the versatile pumpkin is used in other resourceful ways: the juicy flesh is turned into delicious dishes and features heavily on autumn menus at inns, wine taverns and restaurants.

© TRV Südweststeiermark | Tom Lamm

P.G.I. - Protected Geographic Indication

Styrian pumpkin seed oil has been geographically protected since 1996. This doesn't mean that you can't buy and use it, of course.  Rather, the designation P.G.I (in German: "g.g.A." or "geschützte geografische Angabe") protects "Styrian pumpkin seed oil" by identifying its origin as the region of Styria.

The designation "Styrian pumpkin seed oil" may only be used when:

  • the pumpkin seeds extracted for pressing come from Styrian pumpkins, and when the pumpkins are grown and harvested in Styria or in a few other defined areas of Lower Austria and the Burgenland;
  • the pumpkin seeds are pressed using traditional methods and the oil is bottled in an oil mill in Styria or Burgenland; and
  • the product is 100 % pure pumpkin seed oil obtained from the first pressing.

Pumpkin seed oil can therefore only be labelled as "Styrian" when it meets all these criteria, and when this has been confirmed by a certified inspection body. It can then also feature the banderole of Styria on its label.