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Skyr

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 August 2018 at 10:49
We were grocery shopping yesterday, and I came across a product that I had heard about in my research, but never thought I would see in rural Montana:

Icelandic Skyr.

Treated as a yoghurt, but technically a cheese, skyr is old - very old - in Scandinavian culture, with references going back to the Viking Age. Here is a snippet from Time/Life’s Foods of the World - The Cooking of Scandinavia; 1968:

Quote One of the sagas tells of a man named Bard who served his guests bread and butter and “large bowls filled with curds.” As they were very thirsty, they swallowed the curds in large draughts; “then Bard had buttermilk brought in, and they drank it.”

What those curds may have been is not certain. Perhaps they were nothing more than skyr, or curdled milk, which used to be a common food of Scandinavia. Today skyr is found under that name only in Iceland, and here it is eaten fresh, as a kind of yoghurt.


I found this skyr sold under the trade name Siggi's, which seem to be an up-and-coming source for various Scandinavian cultured milk products, including Filmjölk, which we have discussed before:

https://siggis.com/

I have not yet tried it, but will tonight; I'll be sure to share my impressions of it.

The neat thing about this is that, like many Scandinavian cultured milk products, skyr can be made easily at home in the American kitchen. Here are a couple of links that I found, from Iceland:

http://icelandmag.is/article/make-your-own-skyr

https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/eat_and_drink/2017/03/22/make_your_very_own_skyr/

The recipe in the first link does not use rennet, but the other recipes that I found do use it; this might be an error in the recipe, or it might be deliberate, for something more traditional...I do not know. If I find out any other information, I'll pass it along, or perhaps someone who knows a little more can weigh in on this. Interestingly, the recipes call for non-fat milk, which I did not expect but am glad to see, since most of the milk we buy at home (unless for a specific project) is skimmed.

The process of making skyr seems just as easy as making any other homemade yoghurt, so perhaps I'll give that a try, as well.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 August 2018 at 13:51
Digging into this a bit more, I am starting to get skeptical about whether rennet is necessary to make skyr. The majority of "recipes" that I see use rennet, but looking at the video of the process that Siggi's uses in order to make their skyr, it doesn't seem to use it:

https://siggis.com/about/#/video/158927093

it looks to me as if it might be optional, but not necessary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 August 2018 at 12:48
I was able to try this over the weekend; in fact, I'm enjoying a couple of spoonfuls (spoonsful? as I type this.

My first impressions are that this is really good stuff; very creamy, very smooth, with a nice tartness that makes a summer day especially enjoyable. I personally like it quite a bit on its own, but I can immediately see the appeal that it would have when mixed with berries or other fruit - or even served as the people in Iceland commonly enjoy it, with cream and brown sugar.

It tastes most similar to plain yoghurt, but seems - to me - to have a little something extra; I can't describe it, but it is surely a combination of the taste and the texture. I'm an instant fan, and plan to make it a regular part of my weekday breakfast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 09:52
Interesting thread Tas! I have had Siggi's before and I guess I didn't look close enough at it to realize it was skyr and not yogurt. I did note that it definitely has a different taste than traditional 'american' yogurt (especially the stuff loaded with enough sugar to choke a horse). I'll have to try it again now that I know what it is. 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 August 2018 at 10:56
I found it to be really good stuff - there's a flavor in there that reminds me possibly of a mild cheese...maybe just imagination on my part, but I like it.

I buy the "plain" variety...I figure if there is to be any added sugar or fruit, I can add that myself.

The website shows a few interesting "recipes" and other things that one can do with skyr many of them look good and creative, but not all of them are Scandinavian recipes.
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