July 14, 2013
0740 SWITZERLAND (Bern) - Chästeilet in Bernese Oberland
In the 15th century, the people living north of the Alps began to use rennet (a substance from the stomach of a cow) to make hard cheeses, much more durable than the cottage cheese. This was the foundation of the Swiss cheese culture. Until the 18th century, this cheese was made only in the summer, because the cows were dry in the winter. This changed in the early 19th century, and the cheese made year-round in the valleys in the mountainous regions is now known as mountain cheese, to distinguish it from Alp cheese, which is still produced only in the summer, from milk which comes from cows that spend the summer up on the Alps.
Alp Cheese doesn't refer to a single product, but to a whole range of cheeses. The taste of each cheese is given to of a number of factors, such as the grasses and alpine herbs grazed by the cows, the wood fire used to heat the milk or the particular style of the cheesemaker. Especially in Bernese Oberland, the higher part of the canton of Bern, the end of the summer grazing season is celebrated with what is known as the Chästeilet (or Kaseteilet). At the end of September, the Alp cheeses are divided among the owners of the cows, in proportion to the milk produced by the cows of the respective owners. In many places, the Chästeilet is a cause for celebration and ends in a traditional festival, with music and a large party.
About the stamps
The first stamp was issued to celebrate 700 years since the establishment of the Swiss Confederation (1291).
The second is part of a series of two issued on March 7, 2013 to celebrate the 150th birthday of Ernst Kreidolf (1863-1956), a Swiss painter largely known for illustrating children's books about flower fairies, and regarded as a "painting poet".
CH006.13 - It's on the postcard 0740
CH007.13 - It's on the postcard 2099
Berner Alpkäse - Wikipedia
Alp cheese, treats from the Alps - My Switzerland
Sender: Zasa Lein (direct swap)
Sent from Bern (Bern / Switzerland), on 11.06.2013
Photo: Marcus Gyger