The earliest finds of the common pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) have been dated to 10 700 to 9 200 B.C. and come from southern Mexico. The pumpkin most likely first came to Europe after the discovery of America. An important point to remember is that these early pumpkin seeds had a thick shell, as all members of the pumpkin family originally did. Nonetheless, the production of pumpkin seed oil from shelled pumpkin seeds has been traced as far back as the 18th century.
The first soft-shelled mutant, known today as the Styrian oil pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. styriaca), arose among the pumpkins cultivated for their seed oil toward the end of the 19th century. This natural mutation of the pumpkin seeds dramatically changed the oil production procedure, because the seeds had to be hand shelled up to this point.
"In the meantime, we can look back at over a hundred years of experience and success producing oil from the plump, dark green and shell-less Styrian pumpkin seeds."