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Vanilla skyr (skyr með vanillu)
Skyr for drinking and eating

Skyr (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈscɪːr̥], English: /ˈskɪər/ SKEER) 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.[1]

Skyr has a slightly sour dairy flavor, with a hint of residual sweetness. It is traditionally served cold with milk and a topping of sugar.[2] Commercial Icelandic manufacturers of skyr have added flavors such as vanilla, berries, etc. to the final product, to increase its appeal.



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[citation needed]. Skyr is mentioned in a number of medieval Icelandic sources, including Egil's 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.[3]

In Norway today, the term "skyr" is also used for other variants of cultured milk products – usually byproducts from cheese production.[citation needed] In its traditional use, it was diluted with water when used as a beverage, or mixed with milk and crumbs of flatbread as a quick meal.


Skyr is a popular product in Iceland. The largest brand of skyr in the world is Isey Skyr, which is sold in Europe in over 25000 stores. Skyr has also gained popularity in the other Nordic countries. Thise Mejeri in Denmark has produced skyr since May 2007. A licensed version produced by Q-meieriene is available in Norway since 2009,[4] Sweden since 2011 and Finland since 2010. Since 2015, "Icelandic-style skyr" has been produced by the Danish-Swedish cooperative Arla in Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.[5] Other Danish producers of skyr include Løgismose and the small Bornholmian producer Ö Skyr. In Latvia, skyr is produced by Tukuma Piens under the brand "Baltais".[6] In Lithuania, Skyr is produced by Varėnos Pienelis under brand Aistė.[7][8] In Estonia, skyr has been sold since May 2016 under the brand Farmi by Farmi Piimatööstus[9] The President's Choice brand is available in the Netherlands and has been in Canada since 2015.

Skyr can also be purchased in Austria, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Nordic countries (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the Baltic states, Canada,[10][11] the UK[12] and Portugal.[13]


Skyr is a high protein, low-fat product (lowfat milk is used), varying slightly between brands. Unflavored skyr is roughly 12% protein, 3% carbohydrate, and 0.5% fat. It is high in calcium and vitamins commonly found in milk products.[14]


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.[15] Contemporary uses include using skyr as a cheesecake topping[16] and as an ingredient in fruit smoothies.[17]


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.[18]

According to many Icelanders and Icelandic skyr producers, the milk for skyr should be made by Icelandic cows and the skyr itself produced in Iceland using the original skyr cultures. Skyr, however, is also made in various other countries. The cows in Iceland are supposed to produce milk with five times more omega-3 fatty acids than milk from any other Nordic country according to MS Iceland Dairies.[19]

  1. Milk is separated from the cream.
  2. Skimmed milk is pasteurized.
  3. The pasteurized milk is fermented using a skyr culture for over eight hours. The skyr culture contains special yoghurt cultures and a small amount of rennet.[20]. Because rennet is used, it is considered a cheese and not a yoghurt.[citation needed]
  4. The fermented milk is then filtered.
  5. Additional steps may add such things as flavouring.

See alsoEdit

  • Filmjölk – another Nordic cultured milk product


External linksEdit