Skyr ( // SKEER; Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈscɪːr̥] ) is an Icelandic cultured dairy product. It has the consistency of strained yogurt, but a milder flavor. Skyr can be classified as a fresh sour milk cheese (similar to curd cheese eaten in Germany and Russia) but is consumed like a yogurt. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for centuries.
Skyr has a slightly sour dairy flavor, with a hint of residual sweetness. It is traditionally served cold, either plain or with cream. Commercial manufacturers of skyr have added flavors such as vanilla or fruit.
A staple of Icelandic diet since the Viking age,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.
The word skyr is related to the English word shear (to cut), referring to how the dairy is split into the liquid whey and the thick skyr.
Skyr is a high-protein, low-fat product made from low-fat milk, varying slightly between brands. Unflavored skyr has roughly 13 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, and 0.2 g fat per 100 g.
Skyr is usually mixed with sugar and milk. A traditional Icelandic dish exists which consists of roughly equal amounts of skyr and porridge. Skyr is often mixed with jam or fruit for a dessert, with prepared fish for dinner, or with cereals for breakfast. Contemporary uses include using skyr as a cheesecake topping and as an ingredient in milkshake or fruit smoothies.
Skyr is made from skimmed milk which has been brought close to a boiling point and then cooled down to 37 °C (99 °F). A small portion of a previous batch of skyr is then added to the warm milk to introduce the essential culture (the active bacterial culture), and with the addition of rennet the milk starts to curdle. It is left to ferment for 5 hours before being cooled down to 18 °C (64 °F). After pasteurization the product is strained through fabric to remove the liquid whey.
Bacteria such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus play an important role in the fermentation of skyr.They also play a major role in the production of yogurt, but the yeast which is active in the low temperature step ensures that the dairy becomes a skyr and not a yogurt.
Skyr is commonly consumed in Iceland.Efforts at marketing it outside of Iceland began in 2005 when it was exported to the U.S. and sold at Whole Foods. Licensed production began the next year in Denmark and Scotland. Mjólkursamsalan (the major dairy cooperative in Iceland) and its associates registered "skyr" as a trademark in some countries, but this was later ruled to be invalid, as "skyr" was found to be a generic term like "milk".
The commercial distribution of skyr outside of Iceland increased in the 2010s, with marketing as a low-sugar, no-fat, high-protein product consumed as a snack.In 2012, 80% of exported Icelandic skyr went to Finland and 20% to the U.S. Numerous skyr parlors were opened in Finland in 2019.
Dairy products or milk products are a type of food produced from or containing the milk of mammals, most commonly cattle, water buffaloes, goats, sheep, and camels. Dairy products include food items such as yogurt, cheese and butter. A facility that produces dairy products is known as a dairy, or dairy factory. Dairy products are consumed worldwide, with the exception of most of East and Southeast Asia and parts of central Africa.
Yogurt also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as yogurt cultures. Fermentation of sugars in the milk by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor. Cow's milk is the milk most commonly used to make yogurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, yaks and plant milks are also used to produce yogurt. The milk used may be homogenized or not. It may be pasteurized or raw. Each type of milk produces substantially different results.
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is a byproduct resulting from the manufacture of rennet types of hard cheese, like cheddar or Swiss cheese. Acid whey is a byproduct brought out during the making of acid types of dairy products, such as cottage cheese or strained yogurt.
Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is also known as curds and whey. It is not aged. It is made by draining the cheese, as opposed to pressing it to make paneer—retaining some of the whey, keeping the curds loose. An important step in the manufacturing process distinguishing cottage cheese from other fresh cheeses is the adding of a "dressing" to the curd grains, usually cream, which is largely responsible for the taste of the product.
Curd is obtained by coagulating milk in a sequential process called curdling. It can be a final dairy product or the first stage in cheesemaking. The coagulation can be caused by adding rennet or any edible acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar, and then allowing it to coagulate. The increased acidity causes the milk proteins (casein) to tangle into solid masses, or curds. Milk that has been left to sour will also naturally produce curds, and sour milk cheeses are produced this way. Producing cheese curds is one of the first steps in cheesemaking; the curds are pressed and drained to varying amounts for different styles of cheese and different secondary agents are introduced before the desired aging finishes the cheese. The remaining liquid, which contains only whey proteins, is the whey. In cow's milk, 90 percent of the proteins are caseins.
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; however, as most modern butter is made not with cultured cream, but with sweet cream, most modern buttermilk is cultured. It is common in warm climates where unrefrigerated fresh milk sours quickly.
Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep, cow, goat, or Italian water buffalo milk whey left over from the production of other cheeses. Like other whey cheeses, it is made by coagulating the proteins that remain after the casein has been used to make cheese, notably albumin and globulin.
Cheesemaking is the craft of making cheese. The production of cheese, like many other food preservation processes, allows the nutritional and economic value of a food material, in this case milk, to be preserved in concentrated form. Cheesemaking allows the production of the cheese with diverse flavors and consistencies.
Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a fresh acid-set cheese common in the Indian subcontinent made from cow or buffalo milk. It is a non-aged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice. Its acid-set form before pressing is called chhena.
Maytag is a blue cheese produced on the Maytag Dairy Farms outside of Newton, Iowa, the former home of the Maytag Corporation. In 1938, Iowa State University independently developed a process for making blue cheese from homogenized cow's milk instead of the traditional sheep's milk.
Fermentation in food processing is the process of converting carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms—yeasts or bacteria—under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desired. The science of fermentation is known as zymology or zymurgy.
Strained yogurt, Greek yogurt, yogurt cheese, sack yogurt, or kerned yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove most of its whey, resulting in a thicker consistency than regular unstrained yogurt, while still preserving the distinctive sour taste of yogurt. Like many types of yogurt, strained yogurt is often made from milk that has been enriched by boiling off some of its water content, or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk. In Europe and North America, it is often made from low-fat or fat-free cow's milk. In Iceland, a similar product named skyr is made.
Cheese is a dairy product, derived from milk and produced in wide ranges of flavors, textures and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified and the enzymes of rennet are added to cause the milk proteins (casein) to coagulate. The solids (curd) are separated from the liquid (whey) and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have aromatic molds on the rind, the outer layer, or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
Paraguay cheese is a cows' milk cheese from Paraguay. It gives the Paraguayan cuisine a high value in calories and proteins, especially in the salted dishes recipes, very characteristic of the country and an important part of its culture.
Milk protein concentrate (MPC) is any type of concentrated milk product that contains 40–90% milk protein. The United States officially defines MPC as "any complete milk protein concentrate that is 40 percent or more protein by weight." In addition to ultrafiltered milk products, the MPC classification includes concentrates made through other processes, such as blending nonfat dry milk with highly concentrated proteins, such as casein.
Ymer is a Danish soured milk product which has been known since 1930. It is made by fermenting whole milk with the bacterial culture Lactococcus lactis. When producing fermented milk products such as yogurt, ymer, filmjölk, skyr, qvark and A-38, and also when producing cheese, one can add lactic acid bacteria which convert milk sugar in the milk into lactic acid and other substances. Acidity makes the milk thicker, gives it a tart flavor, and increases the shelf life by several days.
Vegan cheese is a category of non-dairy, plant-based cheese analogues. Vegan cheeses range from soft fresh cheeses to aged and cultured hard grateable cheeses like plant-based Parmesan. The defining characteristic of vegan cheese is the exclusion of all animal products.
Quark or quarg is a type of fresh dairy product made by warming soured milk until the desired amount of curdling is met, and then straining it. It can be classified as fresh acid-set cheese. Traditional quark can be made without rennet, but in modern dairies small quantities of rennet are typically added. It is soft, white and unaged, and usually has no salt added. It is traditional in the cuisines of Baltic, Germanic and Slavic-speaking countries.
Sour cream or soured cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting regular cream with certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name comes from the production of lactic acid by bacterial fermentation, which is called souring. Crème fraîche is one type of sour cream with a high fat content and less sour taste.
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