Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Samsoe (exported as Samsoe but the name written as Samsø in Danish), the best known of Danish cheeses, has changed much since the islanders of Samsï won a reputation for cheese-making in the early Middle Ages. Denmark has long been a major producer and exporter of cheese, and has had an eye on world markets. In 1800 a landowner, Constantin Bruun, invited Swiss cheese-makers to his estate to make an Emmental-type cheese, which they did; and this was the origin of modern Samsoe. Over the years it has become much more like a Danish cheese than a Swiss one—softer and milder than its original, although a properly matured Samsoe can have quite a well-rounded flavour. It is made in broad wheels weighing about 14 kg (30 lb), and has largish holes or ‘eyes’ like those of the original Emmental.