Nobody—most of all the massive multinational yogurt conglomerates, including Yoplait—seemed to see the Greek yogurt craze coming. This summer, it may have reached its hilt when leading Greek yogurt brand Chobani opened its own flagship store in SoHo. Several Minneapolis fro yo shops have Greek yogurt on tap, including the new Yogurt Lab and Cool Cups Yogurt.
Greek yogurt is great and all, but its popularity may soon be rivaled by the up-and-coming skyr, which I’ve recently come across several times in restaurants all over town (Birdhouse, Solera for the Farm in the City fundraising dinner, among them). Skyr actually is a cultured Icelandic sheep’s milk cheese, but it has a similar consistency and flavor to Greek yogurt. Compared to Greek yogurt, when skyr is spooned, I’d say it tends to “stretch” instead of “cleave,” and the flavor is less sour and slightly more savory.
The only local producer of skyr that I know of is Star Thower Farm, the new-ish cheesemaking operation run by Deborah Pikovsky (with help from her husband, Scott, head of the gourmet foodstuff import company Great Ciao). They make a few other cheeses as well (pictured below), and you can find all of them for a few more weeks at the Fulton Farmers’ Market. As an extra bonus, they also sell ultra-cuddly sheepskins, which, as the lucky recipient of one (thank you, A!), I can say make fabulous gifts.
The Blue Ewe: The blue in this blue cheese is so blue it’s navy, with an aggressive, almost sour, metallic tang.
Farmstead Tomme: This aged cheese has an unusual spongy texture and a mild flavor.
The Flocked Ewe: This soft ripened, two-toned Camembert-style cheese has a creamy, funkier outer layer and a drier, tangier center.