What is Skyr? Our Newest Product Comes from Iceland!
Halló! Ert þú eins og jógúrt?
In Icelandic, that means "Hello, do you like yogurt?"
We are SUPER excited to announce our newest product, and if you like yogurt, you'll be super excited too!
Chances are the word skyr (pronounced skeer) is new to you! Well, in Iceland, skyr is a thick type of yogurt that has been around since the Viking times! I had not heard of skyr until last October when my wife and I took our kids on a family vacation to New England.
As part of our trip, we spent time in Vermont. I LOVE Vermont! This was my second time visiting the state; and as a small farmer, I find that I draw a lot of inspiration from the many small-scale farms producing niche specialty products. In just an hour's drive, I can find multiple small farm shops to visit and meet with a variety of local producers doing similar things to what we doing here at Shumway Farms!
During our time in Vermont, we were privileged to stay at the historic Ira Allen House bed and breakfast near Manchester, Vermont. This historically significant home--built in 1774--was the perfect place for us to spend our Vermont experience! The Ira Allen House is owned by our wonderful hosts Michael and his partner Kevin. Being a genealogist and a history nut, I was thrilled to stay in such an historic house that served as an important location during the American Revolution and in the establishment of Vermont!
On the first morning, we were served an amazing breakfast! However, the first dish particularly caught our attention--a yogurt unlike any other yogurt that we had ever tasted before. Arit and I both looked at each other and commented on the delightful flavor and texture. Then, Michael came back and asked what we thought of it. What did we think of it?!! He then proceeded to tell us that what we were eating was actually an Icelandic style of yogurt called skyr and that it was made by a woman in the area with a small herd of Jersey cows! The story of our breakfast treat captivated me and I immediately asked where I could find this woman!
Long story short, I connected with the skyr maker, Stina, and learned more about the product and the process of making it. Schedules unfortunately didn't allow for me to visit Stina's farm and meet her in person, but I had enough information to at least do something with. So, I set out on a quest to bring skyr to Wyoming! Before leaving Vermont, Arit and I visited a local health food store where Stina sold her skyr and we stocked up and brought home several cartons in our checked luggage!
So What is Skyr?!
Now that I've bored you with the back story, here are the facts about skyr!
Skyr is a thick yogurt that is made with both live cultures and rennet (used in cheese making). The rennet influences the culturing process so that it adds a cheese-like quality to the product. So, essentially, it's like a soft yogurt-cheese!
After the culturing process, the whey is strained off as with Greek style yogurt. However, what is different about skyr is that the cheese-like quality tends to yield a higher protein content than most Greek yogurts!! So, for all you Greek yogurt lovers out there who like the high protein, skyr is your new best friend!
After several months of learning and experimenting, we are excited to roll out our new line of Icelandic Skyr! Initially, our production will be on a small scale, but we are so thrilled with the product, that we plan to expand our production capacity in the very near future.
To start off, we will be offering three kinds of skyr: Plain (Skim), Plain (Whole) and Maple (made with skim milk). Other flavors will be added as we continue expanding the product! All are packaged in pint-sized containers.
We look forward to hearing feedback from our customers about the skyr! So next time you visit the store, take a pint home and let us know what you think! We are confident you and your family will LOVE IT!
So, as they say in Iceland, Njóttu (enjoy)!