Names: pepita oil • the Green Gold • Kernöl (German) • bučno olje (Solvenian) • tökmagolaj (Hungarian)
Brand: La Tourangelle
History: Christopher Columbus brought pumpkins and other squash back to Europe where Austrians later started producing seed oil from Austrian-grown pumpkins.
About: This gourmet oil is a culinary treasure so rich in flavor and dramatic in color, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything. But do not, I repeat, DO NOT use it us as a cooking oil. This will destroy it’s nutritional value and become bitter in taste. Simply add it as a final, flavorful touch to all your meals with a deep flavor and smooth texture. This oil comes from a special variety of European pumpkin. It’s toasted dark green seeds is what gives the finished product it’s distinct nutty aroma and dark color. Other cheaper brands of pumpkin seed oil use white pumpkin seeds that produce a lighter oil—avoid it.
Origin: Syrian Region of Austria
Plant: Cucurbita maxima
Uses: homemade vinaigrettes & sauces • drizzle on soups or pastas • pizza • ice cream • baked goods • vegetables • meats • rice • add to morning coffee •
Health Benefits: promotes hair growth • moisturizes the skin • enhances libido • lowers cholesterol • relieves some menopause symptoms (hot flashes, joint pain, headaches) • possibly treats an overactive bladder
Nutritional Value: vitamin A, D, & E • polyunsaturated fatted acids • no cholesterol
Ingredients: pumpkin seeds
Replaces: sesame seed oil
WHERE TO FIND
Store: Specialty oil shops
HOW TO STORE
Store: in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight
Shelf-Life: Unopened 14 months; Opened use within 6 months
TASTE & TEXTURE
- strong nutty smell and flavor
- thick consistency
- dark roasted aroma
- Syrians use pumpkinseed oil as much as Italians use olive oil — about one liter per month.
- Pumpkin Seed oil was so highly valued that a 17th century Austrian Empress legally declared it a “healthy oil…too precious for using in tasty meals”. Thus it was no long used my chefs, but apothecaries only.