Skyr Wars: Cultures and Authenticity from the Screen to the Court

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein (University of Iceland) and Jón Þór Pétursson (University of Iceland)

After an uneventful millennium as a main staple of the domestic diet in Iceland, skyr (a traditional, fermented dairy food) had an international breakthrough in the 21st century. This paper explores the various ways in which packaging, labels, and advertisements mobilize imaginaries of origin, authenticity, and heritage. It goes on to analyze legal and commercial battles over skyr in Europe and the United States over the past decade, including trademark claims, geographical indications, and the official certification of the authenticity of skyr cultures, as well as legal challenges to the ways in which skyr is marketed as heritage food.

Part of 03-11 Folkloristic Perspectives on Culinary Heritage, Thursday, November 02, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm