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Skyr (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈscɪːr̥]) is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years. It is traditionally served cold with milk and a topping of sugar.
Skyr was brought from Norway to Iceland more than 1100 years ago, and though the tradition mostly died out in the rest of Scandinavia, it lived on as a part of Icelandic culture. The tradition was also kept alive in parts of Norway. Skyr is mentioned in a number of medieval Icelandic sources, including Egils saga and Grettis saga. It is unclear how similar this was to modern-day skyr, as no detailed descriptions of skyr exist from this period. Culinary historian Hallgerður Gísladóttir has suggested that skyr was known throughout Scandinavia at the time of the settlement of Iceland but eventually forgotten outside of Iceland.
Traditionally, skyr is made with raw milk, however modern skyr is made with pasteurized skimmed milk. A small portion of skyr is added to the warm milk, to introduce the right bacteria, such as Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. Rennet is sometimes added as well, and the milk is left to coagulate. The skyr is then strained through fabric to remove the whey (mysa in Icelandic) and the milk solids retained.
Skyr has a slightly sour dairy flavor, with a hint of residual sweetness. Commercial Icelandic manufacturers of skyr have added flavors such as vanilla, berries, etc. common to yogurt to the final product, to increase its appeal.
Skyr is a popular product in Iceland and can also be purchased in parts of the US, UK, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Thise Mejeri in Denmark has produced Skyr since May 2007. A licensed version produced by Q-meieriene is available in Norway since 2009, Sweden since 2011 and Finland since 2013. In Switzerland, Skyr has been available since 2014, produced by MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan).
Skyr may be used in a traditional Icelandic dish called hræringur (meaning "stirred" or "made by stirring") which consists of roughly equal amounts of skyr and porridge. It is often mixed with jam or fruit for a dessert, with prepared fish for dinner, or with cereals for breakfast.
In Norway today, skyr is also used as a term for other variants of cultured milk products - usually byproducts from cheese production. In its traditional use, it was diluted with water when used as a beverage, or mixed with milk and crumbs of flat-bread as a quick meal.
- Guðmundsson, Guðmundur. "Hnigfræði og smásæ bygging skyrs: Abstract" (in Icelandic and English). Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Favorite Recipes Gleaned From Menus of Many Foreign Nations". The Evening Independent. 1926-07-23. p. 14. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Gísladóttir, Hallgerður (1999). Íslensk matarhefð. Reykjavík: Mál og menning. p. 73. ISBN 9979-3-1846-5.
- The Yogurt Chronicles
- Q-Meieriene article about Skyr
- Skyr in der Schweiz
- Nutritional facts: http://www.skyriceland.com/skyr.is-products
- A hræringur recipe: http://caloriecount.about.com/hrringur-56-recipe-r702104
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Skyr.|
- Skyr Web Site of Icelandic Skyr producer, MS (Mjólkursamsalan) skyr.is
- Amateur Gourmet blog article on trying skyr
- Food-Info article on skyr
- Recipe for making skyr (in English)
- Iceland woos America with lamb and skyr - NY Times article (October 18, 2005) on Whole Foods introducing skyr to the US.
- Web site of New York-based Skyr producer Siggi's Skyr
- Web site of California-based Skyr producer Smári Organics
- Blog Dynamics of Cats entry on skyr