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Skyr, Icelandic Yogurt: Beating Greek Yogurt at Its Own Game

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There’s so much to love about Greek yogurt. It’s thick, it’s creamy, it’s flavorful, it’s protein-packed. I had long thought that yogurt could get no better. Until, that is, I discovered the Icelandic yogurt Skyr.

Disclaimer up front: Skyr is not technically a yogurt. It’s a strained, skim-milk cheese. But it’s been marketed as yogurt, packaged in serving-size tubs, and sold in fruit flavors. And made with live cultures, it’s smooth and a little bit tangy, like any good yogurt should be.

So Fage-lovers, take note. If you like the thickness of Greek yogurt, Skyr is thicker—a scoop in your spoon turned upside-down won't fall off. I love the flavor of Greek yogurt but find Skyr even tastier—a bit less sour than Fage, while still having that fresh-yogurt tang. Made from skim milk, it’s naturally fat-free, though you’d never know it from the crème fraîche–like richness. And it’s so mineral-dense that a streak of yogurt left on the lid will start curling into little flakes of calcium.

20081121skyr1.jpgIn East Coast stores, you’ll find one of two brands. Skyr.is is the Icelandic import, and the slightly more Fage-like of the two. Tubs of plain, strawberry, blueberry, and vanilla come with little foldable spoons. The Skyr is especially smooth and light.

20081121siggi.jpgFor New York locavores, there’s another alternative—if you can’t stomach the carbon footprint of your Icelandic-made yogurt, try Siggi’s Skyr. It’s made right in Brooklyn (and with a lowercase logo and conversational package labeling, it looks like it, too). Siggi's is even thicker than other types of Skyr, though equally creamy. And while I don’t usually like fruit-flavored yogurt, Siggi’s pomegranate passionfruit, orange ginger, and blueberry Skyr are outstanding. Real fruit and agave nectar lend each flavor a bit of complex sweetness without an artificial taste.

Skyr.is can be found in Whole Foods stores from Virginia to Maine, while Siggi’s is sold in many Whole Foods and specialty markets (like Zabar’s, Dean & Deluca, and Murray’s Cheese in New York) on the East Coast and in the Midwest. And if you really fall in love with Skyr? Send in a resume—Siggi’s is looking for interns.

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