Food for Fighting - in praise of Skyr.
Whole Foods is to start carrying serious Icelandic lamb, fish and dairy products, including the legendary skyr.
(ok, here is actual useful info in english, here is the official skyr propagande site).
The article, by the way, completely mischaracterises skyr, it is true it can be a base for a berry parfait - indeed one of the best deserts I have ever had was skyr with blueberries and cream. But, it is so much more.
Skyr is not cheese. Nor is it yoghurt, though it is somewhat reminiscent of greek yoghurt.
Talking of which, locals note, Wegman's is now carrying the full line of Total Greek Yoghurt (it is in the "expensive organic" cooler next to the Soy drinks and Free Range Tofu sausages). Despite many years in the UK I never got around to the greek yoghurt (more fool me, but it was during the Involuntary Yoghurt Avoidance Phase, following the Unpleasant Incident of the Rotten Sainsbury's Own Brand Yoghurt and Too-Long Car Trip...). However, a few years ago I was at a meeting in Crete and on a friend's advice tried the yoghurt with local honey for breakfast - and the stuck with it every day, and then religiously half-filled the coolers with Total each time I passed a TJs (the other half was tamales, if you must know).
So, the bad news is that there is now one less excuse to make the ~ 120 mile drive to nearest TJs, the good news is that central PA has incrementally improved food selection.
So, What is Skyr:
it is a non-fat, high protein, high calcium cultured dairy product.
It is more textured than yoghurt or cottage cheese, it is less firm than any reasonable cheese.
It can be eaten straight, with milk or cream, kids like it sprinkled with sugar (I'm partial to a touch of brown sugar) and it is wonderful with berries and fruit. It comes "raw" or "blended" (whipped with a bit of milk, sugar and sometimes fruit flavouring). Purists insist on it raw, though most sales are blended. I personally approve of the blueberry and orange flavoured varieties, but consider the other newfangled flavours highly suspect. But kids like them...
It lasts forever.
It is good for breakfast (near ideal in fact), it makes a great lunch, especially if complemented with some fruit and maybe a sandwich. It makes a fine dairy base for desert. It is good for quickie outdoor lunches and great to take camping.
How good is it? It is the base "nesti" (travel food) for anyone wanting to row across the Atlantic and arrive off the mainland in fit and fighting form. A wooden tub (birch or pine) with a large dollop of skyr will last the whole voyage and keep you going through all but the worst of storms ready to kick some
It will keep your family alive for weeks of winter, it will help you ride out the total desolation of a volcanic eruption (especially if you can get a bit of fresh whale blubber to supplement it).
It is close to being the perfect food.
So, if you're lucky enough to live within commuting distance of a Whole Foods, then go buy some, but leave some for the rest of us.
Damn, this is an actual reason to seriously contemplate moving. I don't think State College can absorb a Whole Foods with Wegman's here. Need to start correlating WF locations with interesting Universities...