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Vanilla skyr (skyr með vanillu)

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] It is traditionally served cold with milk and a topping of sugar.[2]



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]

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.[4]

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 yogurt to the final product, to increase its appeal.


Skyr is a popular product in Iceland where it is produced by MS Iceland Dairies[5] (Mjólkursamsalan) who claim theirs is "the only product made with Original Icelandic Skyr Cultures".

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,[6] Sweden since 2011 and Finland since 2010. Since 2015, "Icelandic-style skyr" has been produced by the Danish/Swedish cooperative Arla in Denmark,the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.[7] 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".[8] In Lithuania, Skyr is produced by Varėnos Pienelis under brand Aistė.[9][10] In Estonia, skyr has been sold since May 2016 under the brand Farmi by Farmi Piimatööstus[11] The President's Choice brand is available in the Netherlands and has been in Canada since 2015.

Smári Organics in Petaluma, California, owned and operated by Smári Ásmundsson. He is an Icelander, born in Hafnarfjörður to Halldóra Hermannsdóttir and Ásmundur Jónasson. Smári Organics produces Skyr in the US, which is carried at many Whole Foods markets. Smári vanilla skyr was certified by health magazine "Eat This, Not That, Men's Health" voted his product the best for building up muscle, and his skyr won the gold medal at the US Championship Cheese Contest 2017.[12] Icelandic Provisions[13] is an authentic brand available in the US.[14] It is co-founded by Polaris Founders Capital[15] and MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan), the largest farmer-owned cooperative in Iceland representing over 650 Icelandic family farms and milk producers.[16] A skyr-style version is sold by Siggi's Dairy in parts of the United States.[17] 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,[18][19] the UK[20] and Portugal.[21]


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.[22]


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.[23] Contemporary uses include using skyr as a cheesecake topping[24] and as an ingredient in fruit smoothies.[25]

In Norway today, skyr is also used as a term 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.


According to many Icelanders and Icelandic skyr producing companies 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 [26]

  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[27]. Because rennet is used it's considered a cheese and not a yoghurt.
  4. The fermented milk is now filtered
  5. Additional steps may add such things as flavouring

See alsoEdit

  • Filmjölk – another Nordic cultured milk product


  1. ^ Guðmundur Guðmundsson. "Hnigfræði og smásæ bygging skyrs: Abstract" (in Icelandic and English). Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Favorite Recipes Gleaned From Menus of Many Foreign Nations". The Evening Independent. 23 July 1926. p. 14. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Hallgerður Gísladóttir (1999). Íslensk matarhefð (in Icelandic). Reykjavík: Mál og menning. p. 73. ISBN 9979-3-1846-5. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Icelandic skyr, low-fat dairy product unique to Iceland, with health benefits". 
  6. ^ Q-Meieriene article about Skyr
  7. ^ "Arla skyr - the Icelandic super yogurt". Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Skyr Islandes jogurts bezpiedevu, 400 g". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Aistė". 
  10. ^ Gabaglio. "Skyr in der Schweiz". Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Farmi". 
  12. ^ "Organic Icelandic skyr in the US". Retrieved 2017-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Icelandic Provisions™ | Icelandic Skyr". Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  14. ^ "How to Feed Your Inner Viking - The Epoch Times". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  15. ^ "Polaris Partners". Wikipedia. 2017-02-12. 
  16. ^ "US launch of Icelandic Provisions skyr to capture those with ‘high food IQ,’ says chairman". Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  17. ^ "The Yogurt Chronicles: Siggi's builds a niche market from an ancient Icelandic yogurt recipe". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Now you can buy the Icelandic skyr in Ireland"
  19. ^ Where to buy skyr in the US? Find Iceland's yogurt Skyr in Whole Foods markets
  20. ^ "Icelandic skyr - low-fat dairy product with health benefits". 
  21. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Nutritional facts:
  23. ^ A hræringur recipe:
  24. ^ Icelandic Skyr & Blueberry Cake
  25. ^ Yogurt recipes with Skyr, the healthy Icelandic yogurt
  26. ^
  27. ^ Arla - Hoe wordt arla skyr gemaakt(Dutch)

External linksEdit