What is skyr?

Every country has its own national dairy products. For instance, you may have heard of Ukrainian ryazhenka, Indian lassi and Middle Eastern ayran.

Skyr (pronounced 'skeer' or 'skir' in Icelandic and 'skeer' in English) is a Scandinavian fermented dairy product with a consistency somewhere between yoghurt and cheese curds. It is a low-fat product with a soft taste and very high protein content. You could call it a protein dessert.

Skyr has been part of Icelandic cuisine for more than 1000 years and is traditionally served with milk and a sprinkling of sugar.

It is thought to have been brought to Iceland from Norway more than 1100 years ago. The tradition of eating skyr declined in most of Scandinavia, but continued in Iceland and parts of Norway. Skyr is mentioned in a number of medieval Icelandic texts, including Egil's Saga and Grettir’s Saga. Unfortunately, we do not know how similar the modern recipe for skyr is compared to the medieval version because no detailed descriptions of the product survive from the period.

Skyr was traditionally made of raw milk, which has since been replaced with pasteurised, fermented skimmed milk and a special starter that gives the product its unique taste and consistency.

Skyr forms an integral part of Icelandic identity and culture. In recent years, skyr has been reintroduced in Scandinavia and other European countries, including Estonia, as well as in the United States.

It is known as strained yoghurt, because the milk is fermented with the same bacteria used to make yoghurt. Naturally, Icelanders keep the exact ingredients of the starter to themselves and their products usually include a note that they are 'made with original Icelandic skyr cultures'.

For Estonians, the product resembles cheese curds, as the production process involves the extraction of a certain amount of whey. From a technological perspective, skyr can also be regarded as cream cheese in the way cheese curds can. However, the difference lies in the fact that where cheese curds are concerned, the milk is fermented using mesophilic bacterial additives.

The milk fermented in the process of making skyr is concentrated three to four times on average. A little rennet can be added to the milk before fermentation, as this helps the milk to clot, resulting in a product that is not overly sour. On average, skyr contains 12% protein, 3% carbohydrates and 0.5% fat. It is also rich in minerals and calcium.

Traditional Icelandic cuisine uses skyr in a dish called hræringur (meaning 'stirred'), which consists of equal parts skyr and porridge. It is often served with jam and fruit as a dessert, as a side dish to a fish lunch or with cereal for breakfast.

Nowadays, skyr is used in cheesecake toppings and smoothies.

Norwegians drink skyr diluted with water or mix it with milk and breadcrumbs for a quick meal.


Farmi’s skyr can be eaten for breakfast with various toppings or as a meal on its own. Skyr is an excellent source of protein for athletes: 100 g of the product contains 9-13% protein.

Skyr can also be used as a substitute for yoghurt or cheese curds in all recipes.

The high quality of FARMI SKYR has won us the title of Best Estonian Dairy Product 2018 and Best Estonian Product for Health 2017

AS FARMI Piimatööstus, Linda 15, 41536 Jõhvi, Tel. +372 332 1404