246357, BB05111 | © Steiermark Tourismus | Atelier Jungwirth / Bernhard Bergmann 246357, BB05111 | © Steiermark Tourismus | Atelier Jungwirth / Bernhard Bergmann
The green gold of Styria

Pumpkins and Styria

When summer gradually gives way to autumn, it’s all about pumpkins in the south and east of Styria. While pumpkins have been around for several thousand years, the Styrian oil pumpkin is a fairly “young” vegetable. For 150 years, this particularly natural type of pumpkin with seeds that are perfect for oil production has been growing in Styria.

On a total surface of 8,600 hectares of sandy, aerated soil and surrounded by the hot and humid climate of the green heart of Austria, the Styrian pumpkin flourishes. After harvesting, the skinless seeds are processed into blackish-green, shimmering oil. The result: a slightly nutty type of pumpkin seed oil that brings a touch of Styria to every dish.

It’s all about the pumpkin

Pumpkin seed oil, roast pumpkin seeds to snack, pumpkin seed pesto or jams: For food lovers, a visit to a Styrian pumpkin farm or pumpkin seed oil mill is a culinary dream come true. Take a look behind the scenes of pumpkin farming and harvesting or join a tour of a local oil mill. Rest assured that in both cases you will find plenty of opportunities to shop for local pumpkin products.

Our tip: Follow the Styrian Oil Trail in the Schilcherland region to fully immerse yourself in the “pumpkin experience”. At five different oil mills, guests can enjoy fascinating insights into the production of the blackish-green delicacy.

From pumpkin to oil

From Styria, for Styria: The Styrian oil pumpkin was discovered in 1870. A lot has happened along the way. The oil gradually became a bestseller and today is used at award-winning restaurants around the world.

Styrian oil pumpkin

With their vibrant shades of orange and yellow, pumpkins make the fields of Southern Styria explode with colour. Apart from Hokkaido pumpkins and long pumpkins, local farmers mainly grow the typical Styrian oil pumpkin.

On the inside, a pumpkin holds around 1,000 seeds, which can be processed into sweet or savoury snacks. Although it’s the seeds that are used for the famous oil, the rest of the pumpkin also deserves some attention. The flesh of the oil pumpkin tastes best when it’s still young, green and tender. What’s more, similar to courgette flowers, the pumpkin flowers can be stuffed or baked.

Styrian pumpkin seed oil

Although the production of Styrian pumpkin seed oil might have changed throughout the years, its distinctive taste and quality have remained the same. The oil carries the “Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A.“ designation. Every bottle contains the oil from about 35,000 seeds and comes with a special label. The individual reference number on the bottle documents the pumpkin seeds’ journey from the field to the oil mill. This denomination of origin serves as proof of the professional processing in an oil mill and the product’s purity.

Pumpkin seed oil is an all-year favourite. You can use it to season salads, spreads, sheep’s milk cheese, soups, egg dishes and even cakes. Extravagant specialties include pumpkin pralines or pumpkin liqueur. The oil has a beautiful, deep green colour and a strong, slightly nutty taste.

Other benefits of the “Steirisches Kürbiskernöl g.g.A.”:

  • high amount of unsaturated fatty acids
  • high vitamin E content
  • free of cholesterol

This makes pumpkin seed oil a great choice for a healthy and balanced diet.

Pumpkin dishes – varied and delicious

Whether it’s as a side to meat dishes, as a main course or as a nut alternative: Pumpkins bring more variety to the dinner table.

Good to know: You can sample a vast choice of pumpkin products at the partner businesses of the Styrian Oil Trail. What’s more, you can order many of them from the Pumpkin Seed Oil Online Shop.

Restaurants along the Oil Trail

The restaurants along the Styrian Oil Trail in the Schilcherland region are true experts when it comes to cooking with pumpkin seed oil. They offer a variety of delicious regional dishes made with the famous blackish-green delicacy. For instance, chefs along the Oil Trail use it to refine regional and innovative dishes. They are also happy to share their knowledge on the Styrian speciality with interested guests.

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