Icelanders’ taste of home Icelandic cuisine offers many unique choices for visitors to this island nation, including svið (singed sheep’s head), hangikjöt (smoked lamb), and hardfiskur (dried fish pieces). Seaweed and various berries make a regular appearance on plates, and no intrepid tourist can return home without trying a nibble of the pungent hákarl (fermented shark). But perhaps the most beloved dish of all isn’t fancy or unusual. The food that most represents the soul of Iceland is a simple cup of skyr. by Pamela Hunt Photos: Pamela Hunt and courtesy of Icelandic Provisions and WakeUp Reykjavik
Icelanders are wild about skyr— pronounced “skeer,” not “sky.” They eat it for breakfast, grab one for a quick snack, or incorporate it into decadent desserts. It can even take part in political protests. In 1972, a man by the name of Helgi Hóseasson wanted for the church to annul his baptismal covenant. The church refused, so Helgi took up his weapon of choice—tubs of skyr—and showered a procession of parliament members, the
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president, and the bishop of the Reykjavik Cathedral to demonstrate his displeasure. May 2016 saw a repeat performance of this food as a protest tool. The crowds gathered outside the Alþingi pelted the building with containers of skyr to express their discontent with the news that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s name had appeared in the Panama Papers as a holder of a hidden offshore bank account
Icelanders are wild about skyr— pronounced “skeer,” not “sky.” They eat it for breakfast, grab one for a quick snack, or incorporate it into decadent desserts.
FOOD OF THE VIKINGS The Vikings brought skyr to Iceland over 1,100 years ago. This fermented dairy product was once popular throughout Scandinavia, but in Iceland, it has become one of the nation’s most treas ured foods and cultural icons. The writers of the Icelandic sagas mention ed it in their myths, and the country’s National Museum holds an ancient jar with residue from a batch thought to be
Published on Apr 12, 2017
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