Tasting Skyr – Icelandic Style
Every great food story often starts in a place far from home. Skyr (pronounced ‘Skeer’) is an Icelandic cultured dairy product which is super healthy, packed full of goodness and is a growing phenomenon. Yet, it has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years.
First things first, Iceland absolutely adore their Skyr, as much as we love our Yorkshire forced rhubarb. It’s everywhere from stepping off the plane into Keflavik airport and being surrounded by giant billboards, to being spoilt for choice at the grocery store and not even knowing where to begin picking which dairy product to purchase.
Luckily, I had tasted Skyr previously; a few weeks earlier I had met with Sam of Hesper Farm who produces his own Icelandic-style Skyr in the Yorkshire Dales. He went on a journey to Iceland to develop his own Skyr (which he later branded and launched here in the UK) and was guided by Thorarinn – an expert in Skyr.
Back home, Skyr is emerging as a breakthrough in the dairy industry, due to being naturally fat-free and less than 3% sugar content, it is definitely satisfying to the health conscious amongst us, as well as giving us a new ingredient to play with.
Skyr is made by incubating skimmed milk with live active cultures. The water contained in the milk – the whey – is then strained away. Per pot, about four times as much milk as an equivalent pot of traditional plain yogurt meaning it’s incredibly thick and beautifully creamy. Per equivalent pot of typical plain yogurt, there’s about three times as much protein in Skyr and three times more calcium.
Its thick consistency works impeccably well as a base with any fresh fruit, compote or dry mix. Skyr was as dominant on menus as it was in grocery stores all across Reykjavik. Popping up time and time again on the dessert menu, whilst championing the fact a pudding doesn’t have to be sinful.
The fact Skyr is essentially a layer – means the possibility to add flavourings is a whole new concept – from sweet, to even savoury. Tasting Skyr in Iceland made me really appreciate the story behind the product. The snow was real, as was the taste.
This Icelandic-style product is definitely here to stay.
Hesper Farm Skyr is available to order now.