Skyr: The national dish

The fresh cheese product skyr [pronounced scihr] is authentic Icelandic cuisine, and has been traditionally made in Iceland since the settlement. Originally it was made at home, but is nowadays produced in dairy factories. The skyr “tradition“ has survived all sorts of changes in society, and has probably never been as popular as today.

Skyr has probably never been as popular as today.

Skyr’s popularity in modern times is not least because it is made of skimmed cow’s milk and therefore is very low in fat and high in protein. Nowadays you can get skyr with no added sugar. It is classified as fresh cheese and is eaten with a spoon, like the cheese quark. Skyr can taste a bit sour, especially the old, thick type of skyr, but nowadays it looks and tastes more like sweetened yoghurt. Chefs have realized that skyr is very special for Icelandic cuisine and the food culture, so desserts made of skyr can be found in some restaurants.

Skyr was probably common in Northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, during the 9th and 10th centuries and earlier. In the old days, people drank or ate some kind of skyr – sometimes just plain skyr, sometimes skyr mixed with water. Icelanders didn’t have a great deal of cow’s milk during the Middle Ages so they had to be very practical when using milk. Skyr gradually became a national dish. People had meals consisting of dairy products every day, and it was very economical to make skyr because then you got two products, skyr on the one hand and sour liquid whey on the other. Back then, skyr differed from farm to farm because everyone made it the way they wanted to.

Skyr is popular nowadays for making boosts and shakes of all kinds together with frozen berries and some juice.

Nowadays, most other countries have lost the tradition of making skyr. However, it is still possible to meet people, for example in the UK, who remember curdling milk. And it is possible to find words in other languages that are similar to skyr, for instance the Danish cheese skørost which can be translated as skyr-cheese.

Some nations have cheeses similar to skyr. The Germans have a sour cheese named quark. Quark is produced in many central and eastern parts of Europe, and is known as tvarog in Russia and topfen in Austria. In the Middle East and the Balkan peninsula, a popular yoghurt is similar to skyr. This yoghurt is produced in a similar way to skyr, namely by filtering through cloth. In Arabic this product is called labneh.

How to serve it: Buy a plastic box of skyr with a spoon from a supermarket, grocery store or a café and shovel the skyr directly into your mouth. Adding cream only makes it better! Skyr is popular for making boosts and shakes of all kinds together with frozen berries and some juice. Skyr also available as a dessert or various types of desserts in restaurants.

Popular since settlement

Skyr has formed part of the daily meal of Icelanders since the time of the settlement. A practical way of using it was to mix it with porridge to eke it out and eat this with dried fish and some butter. In the old days, people drank whey with it or mixed the whey with some water or milk. Whey was also used to store meat in barrels during the long winter months.

A popular way of eating skyr was to put a dollop of thick skyr into a bowl, sprinkle sugar over it, pour milk or perhaps cream into the bowl, and eat it with a spoon. If bilberries or crowberries were to hand, they were sometimes put into the bowl to add extra flavour.

During the 20th century, people sometimes ate a mixture of skyr and porridge but a more popular way of eating it was to put a dollop of thick skyr into a bowl, sprinkle sugar over it, pour milk or perhaps cream into the bowl, and eat it with a spoon. If bilberries or crowberries were to hand, they were sometimes put into the bowl to add extra flavour.

Skyr is popular nowadays for making boosts and shakes of all kinds together with frozen berries and some juice. Many different sorts of skyr and skyr drinks are available from various producers, and all kinds of flavours exist.

Skyr plays a part in Gretti(r)‘s saga – the story of outlaw Grettir Ásmundarson.

Skyr plays a role in the Saga manuscripts, which are part of Iceland’s national heritage. In Gretti(r)’s saga – the story of the violent outlaw Grettir Ásmundarson – Grettir rode to the northern part of Iceland and participated in a ball game, but he lost to Auðunn who

Grettis saga.

was considered the strongest man in the north of the island and was well liked among most people. Grettir was unhappy with the outcome, so a few days later he went to Auðunn’s farm, but Auðunn was out on the moor fetching food.

When Auðunn came home, he left the horses, took the skyr and went into the farmhouse, which was dark so he couldn’t see anything. But Grettir had been waiting inside. He put his foot into Auðunn’s path so he tripped and landed on the floor with the skyr beneath him. Auðunn asked what Grettir wanted.

”I want to fight you,” Grettir said.

”I will first take care of my food,” Auðunn said, took the skyr from the floor and threw it into Grettir’s arms.

Grettir became covered with skyr, and was both embarrassed and irate. To him, this was more of a disgrace than if they had fought and he had lost, so he started a fight. Auðunn was losing when one of his friends intervened and told Grettir to let Auðunn go.

Chapter from Traditional Icelandic Food: A Gastronomic Guide to Iceland by Guðrún Helga Sigurðardóttir.

Photos: courtesy of MS Iceland Dairies 


    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us

          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.