Stamp Academy: Celebrating Latin American Cuisine

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamps

We wanted to learn more about the colorful Latin American cuisine stamps that we sent out in our February SNAILBOX! Below, the U.S. Postal Service fills us in on the story behind their new Delicioso Forever stamps.

Robert Cintron, Vice President of USPS Network Operations, who dedicated the stamps in April 2017, spoke the following words:

“Ours is truly a world culture, and our stamps allow us to weave together the many threads of our national tapestry. With the issuance of the beautiful Delicioso Forever stamps, it is the Postal Service’s way of saying these Delicioso dishes epitomize the best of America, and will do so forever.”

Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors have impacted American cuisine for generations. Dishes such as tamales, flan, sancocho, empanadas, chile relleno, and ceviche all come from an array of Latin American culinary traditions that have found new life and variations in the United States.

Though many adaptations of tamales exist throughout North and Central America, the dish typically consists of masa — a starchy dough made from hominy—and various meat or vegetable fillings.

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Tamales

A decadent ending to any meal, flan complements the bold flavors found in many of Latin America’s favorite foods.

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Flan

Sancocho — a hearty, traditional stew — is a culturally significant dish for several Caribbean and Central American countries and their communities in the United States.

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Sancocho

Whether sweet or savory, flaky or doughy, fried or baked, the crescent-shaped empanada is a favorite for many.

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Empanadas

Chile relleno, meaning “stuffed pepper” in Spanish, is exactly that — a chile pepper filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, rice, beans, or any combination of these ingredients. 

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Chile Relleno

Found in upscale restaurants, seaside eateries, and outdoor market stands, ceviche (or cebiche) is created by adding acidic juices, typically from limes or oranges, to raw fish.

USPS Delicioso Forever Stamp - Ceviche

Artist John Parra created each illustration of the Delicioso stamps by applying multiple layers of acrylic paint to his illustration boards, using sandpaper to reveal the hidden layers and give the designs a worn, vintage look. Through a specialized stencil process, he added the details for each dish to the textured backgrounds. Parra designed the stamp artwork under the direction of Antonio Alcalá.