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USPS Releases Stamps Celebrating Latino Cuisine

The United States Postal Service released six stamps celebrating different Latino foods. It’s called the Delicioso Forever series and they are pretty cool. In American society there is no better touchstone between the mainstream American culture and the different Latino groups. Ask your average American what he knows about Mexican or Cuban culture and chances are they will talk to you about tacos or ropa vieja. The food on the stamps are flan, tamales, empanadas, sancocho, chile relleno, and ceviche. It’s a good cross section of cuisine from all over Latin America. Some of the dishes, like the empanada for example, are claimed by more than one country. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Roy Betts said,

“With the release of the new Delicioso Forever stamps, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”

It’s been said by wiser people than me that you can gauge a culture by its food. The content and makeup of a society’s food tell you all you need to know about its history, culture, and ethics. The different Latino countries, (and the subcultures and regions within those countries), have varied cuisine. I guess that’s what bothers me a little bit. There is no monolithic thing called Latino cuisine. There isn’t even Mexican or Argentinian food as it is different from region to region and even city to city. It is a bit reductionist to say these stamps celebrate something called “Latino cuisine”. But, like in most things, all Latinos in the United States are lumped together into a brownish lump. Oh well, I’ll use these stamps. Maybe the flan stamp is flan flavored?

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