Nature, Samsø for Adults, Tales from Samsø

Nature’s larder

Look closely during your walks around the island, and you might gain a new tasting experience Most of the year you can find fruits and plants to use in your kitchen. Borrow some books at the library and talk to your children about what you may find and how it can be used.

Fruits and berries

A walk on the beach or along the roads can easily be combined with a treasure hunt for natural ingredients. Be kind to the nature and take only what you need.

Rose hip

You can easily eat raw rose hips. Careful nip small pieces of the skin and avoid the itching hairs inside the fruit. Rose hips are also used to make jam and juice. Collect from end-July to late autumn.


There are over 100 varieties of blackberries, all of which are edible. Collect from late August until the frost sets in. Used for making jam and eaten just as they are.


You know elderberries by the red stems. The berries contain lots of lovely vitamin C. Make juice, soup or jam of them. Collect from early October. Remember that raw elderberries can be toxic.


The berries are the size of peas, and have a very bitter taste. They are used primarily for schnapps and to make the traditional Danish bitter “Gammel Dansk”, but can also be made into jelly. The berries are rich in vitamin A and C, and ripen in September.

Herbal schnapps

Many herbs and berries can be used for the production of herbal schnapps. Here are a few tips and recipes for three good schnapps, which will suit any lunch. A good idea is to use preserving jars, since they are easy to clean after use. After filtering through a coffee filter the schnapps can be poured into beautiful glass bottles. You might add extra schnapps until the right flavour is achieved. Always use a neutral flavoured schnapps or vodka – this gives the purest flavour of the added herbs and berries. The bottles should be stored in a dark place, if you want to preserve the colour for as long as possible.

Sea wormwood

Collect June to August. Use flowers or young leaves and in very limited quantities. Remove the wormwood from the jar after ½ – 2 days. The plant can advantageously be dried for several days before you add the schnapps. It gets better by the years and goes great together with herring.

St. John’s wort

Best results are achieved when using only flower buds. Pick 1 cup of buds, add the schnapps or vodka and let it soak a few days. St. John’s wort schnapps can be drunk when it’s young, but if you store it for several years the taste develops significantly. The plant is also known as “St. John’s Blood”. Squeeze a flower bud between two fingers, and you will get “blood on your hands”. The dye gives the schnapps a very beautiful color. St. John’s wort schnapps is great at the lunch table.


Blackthorn berries must be exposed to frost before using them. It is best to pick the berries after they have been “naturally frosted”. Alternatively, you can put the berries in the freezer a few days before they are used. Cover the berries with schnapps and let it soak for 2-3 months. The blackthorn schnapps can be drunk after a few months, but becomes better in time. This type of schnapps is especially good with cheese.

An interesting alternative is “sloegin”. Put berries in a bottle, add sugar until the berries are covered, fill the bottle with gin and let it soak for 2-3 months.

Foraging and gathering on the beach

You are allowed to collect stones and sand from Danish beaches as long as the items are no larger than you can take them with you without using aids. An old definition of “small things” is: “What you can carry in your hat.”

Foraging and gathering in the forest

All forests on Samsø are privately owned, and therefore you are only allowed to pick things, which are reachable from the road or path.

Last updated: 26/08/2020 11:21