Wide number of ‘with shell’ varieties include lady finger and snow white but the most commonly grown for inshell and bakery use is ‘shineskin. These varieties are most widely grown for seed in China.
GWS (Grown without shell) is a darker coloured kernel that grows without a protective hull. China is the main producer of GWS for export (no domestic consumption), hover there are also Styrian GWS pumpkin seeds available from Austria and Ukraine. These command a considerable premium over Chinese grown GWS.
In many applications GWS and hulled shineskin can be used interchangeably, as typically the only difference is the green hue.
However in mainland Europe GWS is historically the most widely demanded.
In recent years shineskin plantings have increased to increased inshell demand within China and the Middle East. This demand often leads to significant price volatility with both origins. GWS tends to track the shineskin price. Typically it should be cheaper, as the costs to hull shineskin don’t exist for GWS.
AA grade relates to a uniform size and coloured seed. A grade has greater colour and size variation.