Skyr – oh Skyr! I couldn’t possibly write about food in Icleand without mentioning Skyr I think.
Similar to Greek Yoghurt that is slowly taking over the grocery shelves here, Skyr is a strained yoghurt-like dairy product which is thick and delicious… It also has quite the history; there are records of Skyr (although the recipe might be different now!) all the way back to the Viking Age when Iceland was settled. It’s low in fat, high in calcium, and relatively high in protein, today made with pasteurized skimmed milk.
We saw a bottle of fish oil offered with Skyr in Reykjavik, though apparently it’s also frequently served with milk or cream, and sugar. It’s also served with porridge, jam, fruit, cereals, and even apparently prepared fish! On grocery shelves (as well as at our buffets) it was also offered commercially packaged just like yoghurts here with different fruits – however this seemed to be more actual cut up fruit and less syrup-y ‘jam’ type of fruit products that I’m more used to in grocery shops here. It also seems to be a favourite ingredient in a number of dishes from cheesecake to panna cotta and from the sounds of it – pretty much every dessert that it will go into!
For the most part, most of the Skyr we tried was like the gallery above, very thick….
However in Reykjavik we also tried a thinner, more watery version (like a drinkable yoghurt), which had the same yoghurt-sour flavour, but even more sweetness than the thicker variety. (In the top photograph it’s in the little glass jar)
Not really yoghurt?
I read on Chowhound that Skyr isn’t actually yoghurt though, but actually a type of fresh, very, very, very soft cheese!
Skyr In Canada
In that same Chowhound article, some posters share why you won’t be able to find authentic Skyr on Canadian grocery shelves yet though – foreign dairy import restrictions.. though I’ve read in a few places you can get it at Whole Foods in the USA… so next time I’m traveling… I might get more Skyr!