When you’re in Iceland, you always take home TWO most unforgettable memories when you get home: the picture-perfect natural beauty and the pleasant taste of the famous Skyr. This tempting milky yogurt is so addictive that even Hollywood stars can’t get their mind off it. But what EXACTLY is a skyr?
Skyr is considered to be Iceland’s traditional yogurt. It is carefully made by formulating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey is then separated from the formula, which makes the yogurt thicker, creamier and much concentrated. The process can get quiet tedious. Just imagine preparing 3-4 times amount of milk just to produce 1 cup of skyr. But despite the complex process, you’ll definitely get healthier as skyr contains 2-3 times the protein count of a regular commercial yogurt.
According to the Sagas, Icelanders learned to make skyr since settlers from Norway arrived on the island during the 19th century. The word skyr comes from the Icelandic word skera, which means to cut or slice. Jógúrt, the modern word for yogurt, wasn’t introduced to Icelanders until the 20th century. Prior to the introduction of jógúrt, Icelanders usually call the regular yogurt as Búlgarst skyr, due to its popularity in Bulgaria. During the 19th century, skyr was known to have been made from both sheep and cow’s milk. It has only been recently that all Icelandic skyr are made from cow’s milk. It wasn’t until last century that skyr was produced in smaller scales with the help of modern dairy farms.
Skyr is a big part of an Icelander’s regular diet. It has enjoyed a great rebirth after athletes and musclemen proclaimed their use of skyr as an important source of protein for their muscles and performances.