Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Ju Shardlow: We're here in West Iceland,

  • and we're gonna go and visit

  • a creamery making traditional skyr.

  • Now, skyr is an Icelandic yogurt cheese,

  • and it's so unusual that it's not even really a cheese.

  • So let's go and find out how it's made.

  • Sharing his skyr knowledge with me

  • is Þorgrímur Einar Guðbjartsson.

  • His creamery was first devoted to making ice cream,

  • but he later started to make skyr with the leftover milk

  • as a fun way to preserve it.

  • Þorgrímur Einar Guðbjartsson: Why do we make skyr

  • in Iceland? Basically,

  • it was to store the milk

  • after you have taken the cream off

  • to make it into butter.

  • Butter was the currency,

  • and butter is only maybe 3% of the milk quantity.

  • So you have 97% skimmed milk left.

  • That's a lot. You have to store it somehow.

  • Preserving, making food, it's in my genes.

  • My ancestors are farmers.

  • And it gives you really good fulfill at the end

  • when you see the storage.

  • I have enough for the winter.

  • I can provide my family, my kids, myself with everything.

  • Ju: Einar makes skyr once a week all year round

  • and more often in the summer.

  • He starts the process by separating

  • the milk from its cream and then pasteurizing it.

  • Einar: Pasteurization temperature is about

  • 63 to 72 degrees Celsius,

  • but we need the milk to be

  • around 50 degrees when we separate it.

  • Otherwise it has influence on the texture of the cream.

  • If it's too low, for example, you will have less cream,

  • and if it's too high, you will also have less cream,

  • as the fat molecules,

  • they will sort of go on a big party in the heat.

  • So they don't know what to do.

  • The fat is lighter in weight than the milk.

  • So what happens in here is that

  • we have a spinning rotator in there.

  • Centrifugal separator, which goes very fast.

  • And by spinning the milk like this,

  • it will throw out the fat molecules.

  • Ju: Right.

  • Einar: They will go "pff."

  • And the main source of the milk, which is water,

  • will remain in there

  • and go out the other way as skimmed milk.

  • Ju: Yeah.

  • Einar: Into a tank.

  • The cream we get out of the machine

  • is about 53%

  • to 56% cream,

  • so it's a little bit heavier than normal cream

  • you have in the buckets today

  • for your pudding or whatever.

  • The cream we then take into the cellar

  • and store it until we make ice cream.

  • This is usually one of the moments

  • I enjoy myself in the creamery. It's because I like cream.

  • Ju: Oh, right, you like cream, yeah. [both laugh]

  • It looks very perfect coming out.

  • Einar: Smooth and nice.

  • Ju: The whole process of making skyr, how long does it take?

  • Einar: It takes about 24 to 30 hours.

  • Ju: 30 hours?

  • Wow, OK.

  • Einar: Phase one.

  • Ju: Done, yeah.

  • The skimmed milk then cools down

  • at 40 degrees for half an hour.

  • Einar: I have here

  • skyr from last week,

  • leftover, which I use as a starter

  • every time I make a new batch.

  • So I will just pour it in here.

  • And then we stir it.

  • [whisking]

  • [whisking]

  • Ju: And how long will you leave that for now?

  • Einar: Now it will sit for maybe

  • four, five, six hours.

  • I will come here after four hours

  • and have a look at the coagulate.

  • So, as soon as the whey starts to come out of the product,

  • it's ready to cool down and start the next process.

  • And now we just have to wait until

  • 1 o'clock in the morning.

  • Ju: Yeah.

  • Einar: And I'll see you then.

  • Ju: Because there's 23 hours of sunlight,

  • you just don't sleep in the summer then?

  • Einar: I avoid sleeping in the summertime as much as I can.

  • I really enjoy, for example, at 1 o'clock last night,

  • I went outside here with my cup of coffee.

  • There was no wind, there was not a sound from the birds,

  • as the birds had already fallen asleep,

  • so I was just sitting out there.

  • You realize, you know, what life is supposed to be like.

  • You're supposed to be enjoying the nature.

  • Ju: After fermenting, the milk needs to be cooled down

  • to 20 degrees to stop the fermentation,

  • and then it's stirred for three or four hours

  • to get a smoother texture.

  • The following morning, the milk is poured

  • in these linen bags,

  • which allow the whey to slowly drain out.

  • [liquid flowing]

  • [splashing]

  • Einar: You can see it's already floating in the whey.

  • You see it's draining out.

  • The main thing we used the skyr whey for

  • in the past was to preserve food.

  • You boil the food,

  • and then you store it in the barrel with whey.

  • The consistency of the product at the moment is

  • the same as yogurt.

  • So you -- and the phase, making yogurt and skyr

  • is the same until we take it out into the bags.

  • Ju: And then it changes after that.

  • It becomes something different.

  • Einar: Yeah.

  • The bacterias are different from the start.

  • Ju: So that's when it stops being yogurt

  • and starts being skyr.

  • Einar: Yeah.

  • It becomes a cheese.

  • Ju: It's like a sack of jelly.

  • Yeah, that is, I just kind of wanna lay down in there.

  • [laughs] It's quite satisfying.

  • It's like a nice, really soft, wobbly pillow, yeah.

  • Einar: This is what I will need next week

  • or when I produce skyr next time.

  • And now you can see the consistency

  • of the milk, you know.

  • You see how smooth it is?

  • We want it to be like silk.

  • You can also see the small particles.

  • Ju: Oh, yeah, you can see them in there.

  • Einar: It looks like you have poured sugar or salt over it.

  • All this will be gone when those small items

  • have joined together successfully

  • into what we call skyr.

  • Ju: The skyr in the bags can take

  • 10 to 20 hours to fully drain out.

  • A bag that previously weighed 20 kilos

  • would now weigh just 5.

  • Einar: As you remember, yesterday,

  • when we put the coagulated milk in here,

  • it was a full bag with smooth surface,

  • and you wanted to sleep on it.

  • But now you don't want to sleep on it.

  • All the liquid is gone,

  • and this is the dry stuff we have remaining.

  • Ju: Wow, it's like a clay, yeah.

  • Einar: It is.

  • And this is exactly what we want it to look like.

  • We want it to be flexible like this.

  • It's still smooth enough so it will float around,

  • it's not gonna stay as a block.

  • If I would have it sit for maybe

  • four, five hours more in the bag,

  • it might be more like a block,

  • and then it would be more difficult

  • to put it in the packaging,

  • and you would also need to add more liquid to it

  • when you mix it up for consuming.

  • This is the final product.

  • You can just take it as it is now and eat it.

  • You can also add something to it,

  • if you want, for flavoring.

  • For example, if you have some,

  • what's your