We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.
In 2004, Siggi Hilmarsson spent a homesick holiday season in New York City, miles away from his family in Iceland. To have a little taste of home, he decided to teach himself to make skyr, the traditional Icelandic cultured yogurt he enjoyed as a child. Within just a few months, Siggi refined his technique, quit his corporate day job and moved his humble skyr-making operation from his home kitchen to a full-scale dairy plant in upstate New York.
True to tradition, Siggi’s skyr does not have any artificial preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors or colors. Flavored varieties are made with real fruit or real vanilla bean, and sweetened with just a touch of organic agave nectar.
It has about half the amount of sugar found in many other styles of yogurt. “What drives us is a mission to educate people, and we take a hard stance against the high ratio of added sugar in food, especially yogurt,” Siggi says. This delightfully creamy, distinctive skyr is made with milk from grass-fed local cows and also comes in a cup that uses 40–50% less plastic than typical yogurt cups — instead, the sides of the container are supported by a recyclable cardboard sleeve.
Siggi also came up with a clever way to recycle whey, the water strained away to make the yogurt so thick and the main byproduct of making skyr. Most of it is donated to local farmers who use it as feed for their pigs, who really love it!
Check out our audio slideshow to learn more:
Have you tried skyr yet? If you’ve tried Siggi’s, tell us what you love about it and how you like to enjoy it!