I came across this pumpkin oil, known as Styrian ‘gold’, when an Austrian guest at one of my supper clubs gave me a bottle as a gift. I was impressed by the thick kelp coloured oil, the depth of flavour. In Styria they grow specially large and plump olive-green pumpkin seeds with a thin skin that doesn’t need to be removed. This oil is a finishing oil, you must not heat it up, and make sure you keep it in a dark place. It’s as good as any top class olive oil, full of essential fatty acids and matches best with balsamic or cider vinegar.
Suggestions and uses for Styrian pumpkin seed oil:
- with grated carrot or beetroot salad along with the seeds
- to drizzle over a pumpkin soup
- to dip good sourdough, seed bread or black bread into
- to make a pumpkin seed butter, add sea salt and a little pumpkin seed oil
- to make ice cream
- to dress courgetti
On my Austrian trip we visited the region of Styria and a pumpkin oil miller and refiner Berghofer Muehle. The oil has been made since the 12th century, but in this miller the grinding equipment dates from 1945 and is still used today.
Inside the pumpkin oil workshop, the smell was incredible – sweet and musty. Below is owner Lian Berghofer with a photo of her great great grandmother who also made the oil. It’s a family business. You can also make paper and cardboard with the husks of pumpkin seeds. On average it takes 30 to 40 pumpkins to yield 2.5 kilos of dried pumpkin seeds, which makes 1 litre of pumpkin oil. They make around 150 kilos of oil per day.
You can buy the oil in the UK on amazon.