Austrian pumpkin seed oil is one of the most unique and exciting niche products on Earth. There is only one tiny region of Austria where this special oil is produced, and producers are bound by strict rules from the European Union in order to preserve the quality of this oil. But what makes Austrian pumpkin seed oil so special?
The first thing you might like to know is that a Styrian Oil Pumpkin is not the same as the bright orange pumpkins you see in the fall time in North America. This pumpkin is round and orange with green stripes. The special thing about these pumpkins are their hulless seeds which yield a beautiful and flavorful finishing oil.
The long preparation process begins with planting in the spring. Throughout the year the crops are tended until harvest time comes, usually in late September or October. When the seeds are harvested, the meat from the pumpkin is left behind in the fields in order to return all of its nutrients back to the soil.
The seeds are collected and then they are washed, dried and inspected to ensure that only the highest quality seeds make the cut. Seeds are stored in a cool, dark place until they are ready to be pressed. This process can take a month or more.
Once we are ready to make our oil, the seeds are pressed in the traditional way: cold pressed to retain all of their flavour, aroma, and nutritional value.
After the oil has been pressed, the European Commission tests the oil in a number of ways before giving us our Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certification, This seal, which can be found on the lid of each bottle, guarantees that each year’s oil meets the Commission’s rigorous standards.
Finally, the oil is bottled and labeled with our PGI certification. Bottles are filled to order and seeds are pressed periodically throughout the year to retain freshness.