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Skyr (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈscɪːr̥]) is an Icelandic cultured dairy product. It has the consistency of strained yogurt, but a much milder flavor. 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 died out in most of Scandinavia, it lived on in Icelandic culture, and 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 flavour, with a hint of residual sweetness. Commercial Icelandic manufacturers of skyr have added flavours such as vanilla, berries, etc. common to yoghurt 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, Scandinavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and since 2015 in Canada (from the President's Choice brand) and the Netherlands. 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). Since 2015, skyr is produced by Arla in Netherlands, Germany and sold there and in the UK. In Latvia, skyr is produced by Tukuma Piens under brand "Baltais". In Lithuania, Skyr is produced by Varėnos Pienelis under brand Aistė.
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. 23 July 1926. p. 14. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Gísladóttir, Hallgerður (1999). Íslensk matarhefð. Reykjavík: Mál og menning. p. 73. ISBN 9979-3-1846-5.
- "The Yogurt Chronicles". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Q-Meieriene article about Skyr
- "Arla skyr - the Icelandic super yogurt". arla.com. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "Skyr Islandes jogurts bezpiedevu, 400 g". baltais.lv. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- http://www.varenospienelis.lt/lt/prekes/-aiste-.htm. Missing or empty
- Gabaglio. "Skyr in der Schweiz". gabaglio.com. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Nutritional facts: http://www.skyriceland.com/skyr.is-products
- A hræringur recipe: http://caloriecount.about.com/hrringur-56-recipe-r702104
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