Weitzer in Graz and Grand Ferdinand in Vienna — the hotels in the Weitzer family are all connected. Thanks to that connection there are always some Styrian delicacies to be found on the Grand Ferdinand’s menu, for example the Styrian fruit juices. But when talking about Styrian delicacies, there’s no way around the famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil.
“Green Gold” from the Green Heart of Austria
Pumpkin seed oil is undoubtedly one of the most famous culinary specialties from Styria. The popular oil is extracted from the seeds of the Styrian oil pumpkin and is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product.
Unlike other pumpkin varieties, the Styrian oil pumpkin’s seeds are enclosed by only a very thin green hull. Those soft seeds are crushed, roasted and then pressed. The green hull is the reason for the viscous oil’s distinguishing green colour. A litre of pumpkin seed oil requires approximately 2.5 kilograms of dried seeds from 30 to 35 pumpkins.
Styrian pumpkin seed oil has a nutty flavour and is a popular salad oil, for example on a warm salad of potato and lamb’s lettuce or on a beef salad. A splash of pumpkin seed oil in pumpkin soup is tasty and looks appealing, and some people like to drizzle some of the oil over their scrambled eggs.
Many are skeptical about using pumpkin seed oil as a sauce on vanilla ice cream, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it — it’s a delicious combination.
Culinary experiments with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil
In recent years, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are being showcased in new and intriguing variations. You’ll find many of those snacks and delicacies at the “Steirershop” at Weitzer in Graz.
The Steirerkraft Genusspesto combines pumpkin seeds with basil and pumpkin seed oil. Just like traditional pesto, it goes well with pasta and rice, as well as fish and meat dishes.
The cute little mini pumpkins in a honey marinade from Kürbishof Koller are the perfect ingredient for an antipasti composition or a hearty snack plate. The same goes for the Fischerauer pumpkin seed mustard. The dijon mustard is manufactured traditionally and combines apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, pumpkin seeds and various spices.
The nutty, creamy pumpkin seed liquor from the Zweiger distillery on the other hand goes well with pastries, parfaits and ice cream. Of course if this is all too experimental for you, there’s also a variety of classic pumpkin seed oils to choose from at the “Steirershop”. Or you can ease into it all with the Bäckersteffl roasted pumpkin seeds with orange — the perfect snack to nibble on.