icelandic Skyr photo

I recently ended a relationship. No, I didn’t divorce my husband or blow off a toxic friend. I said goodbye to Greek yogurt–at least for the time being. It wasn’t that I didn’t love Greek yogurt. I just couldn’t control my affection for Icelandic Skyr any longer. I hated leaving Greek yogurt high and dry, but Icelandic Skyr is even thicker. In fact, when you turn your spoon upside down, the Skyr stays put. It’s also naturally fat-free and loaded with protein. I’m in love!

To be perfectly honest, Skyr isn’t yogurt, it’s actually strained skim milk cheese that’s marketed as yogurt and sold in plain, vanilla, and fruit flavors. The fruit flavors use real fruit and agave nectar for sweetening. Skyr is naturally fat-free because its made from skim milk after the cream has floated to the top to make butter. Today, it’s made with cow’s milk, though prior to the 19th century it was made with sheep’s milk as well.

I’m obsessed with Skyr because it’s thick, creamy, and a less sour than Greek yogurt–although it’s still a good replacement for sour cream. It also has 2 to 3 times as much protein as Greek yogurt. You can use it in smoothies, a homemade Tzatiki sauce, or to cut the fat in a creamy homemade pasta sauce. 

According to the Sagas, ancient stories of the Norse Vikings, Icelanders have made skyr since settlers first came to the island in the 9th century. It’s the traditional “yogurt” of Iceland to this day. I wish I could say that my first introduction to Skyr came on an adventurous jaunt to Iceland, but it didn’t. In fact, even though Skyr is originally from Iceland, it’s a company out of Brooklyn, Siggi, that first introduced me to it. 

Siggi is the most widely sold brand of Skyr in the U.S., although a brand imported from Iceland, Skyr.is, is also widely available. Siggi Hilmarsson started making Skyr to quell his homesickness when he couldn’t make it home to Iceland one Christmas. Today Siggi has moved the production to a dairy plant in Chenango County, New York. This way Siggi can buy milk hormone-free cows raised on family farms.

What do you think? Would you ever cheat on Greek yogurt with Skyr? 

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Image: darcy parks