Saturday, September 22, 2018

Malta - EUROPA, Gastronomy 2005

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 09 May 2005
Designer: Joseph P. Smith
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 colours
Size: 31.0 x 44.0mm
Values: 16c, 51c

This year’s Europa stamp issue, a two-stamp set which will go on sale on today from all Maltapost branch post offices, depicts gastronomy, the theme chosen by PostEurop for 2005. The two stamps, with face values of 16c and 51c, are the result of some brilliant photography by photographer Joseph P. Smith, and are offset printed by Printex Ltd.

The stamps, in vertical format, are 31.0mm base x 44.0mm in size, with a perforation of 14.0 x 13.9 (comb), and are available in sheets of 10.

Gastronomy, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is the art or science of good eating. Mediterranean cuisine, with its enormous selection and availability of the very best that the land can offer, ranks among the leaders when the subject of good, wholesome food is raised.

Prime examples of our cuisine are graphically displayed on these stamps. The 16c stamp shows stuffed sweet peppers, courgettes and aubergines, and the 51c stamp shows another firm favourite – that most characteristically Maltese dish, rabbit fried in wine and garlic. Both dishes are very traditionally Maltese, and were lovingly prepared for Joe Smith’s photography by Noel Debono of the Medina Restaurant.

In the Maltese Islands, as in other parts of the Mediterranean, vegetables are never regarded as a mere accompaniment to the main course, but as dishes in their own right. Mediterranean and middle eastern people go in for stuffing vegetables, baking them and using them in soups. We also fry them, stew them and put them into pies. Vegetables make a main course at supper time, served as a warm salad with an oil and lemon juice or vinegar dressing. There are several ways of cooking vegetables, according to whether they are young and tender or large and tending to be coarse.

Perhaps the most characteristically Maltese meat is the rabbit. The fenkata, or rabbit feast, has now become the national dish and is thus in danger of becoming cheapened as it is promoted on tourist menus. A fenkata today is best described as a kind of rabbit outing or celebration where a family or group of friends get together for a meal of spaghetti and rabbit. The eve of the feast of Mnarja on 29 June is one of the occasions for a rabbit feast of gigantic proportions, with hundreds of Maltese and visitors making their way to Buskett Gardens to partake of this traditional dish to the accompaniment of folk songs.

The Europa 2005 issue will be available from today as a first day cover, in mint or cancelled format, and as a souvenir folder or presentation pack.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Faroe Islands - EUROPA, Gastronomy 2005

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 18 April 2005
Value: 7,50 DKK & 10 DKK

All over the world the provision and preparation of food have always been an important part of national culture, with countless variations being shaped by the possibilities to hand.

About the Motif
All over the world the provision and preparation of food have always been an important part of national culture, with countless variations being shaped by the possibilities to hand.

Climate has been crucial in terms of the type of food it was possible to produce. Living in tropical countries and having to survive in the polar regions will always be different, of course.

The original food on the Faroes came for the most part from the animal population on the island, mainly sheep in the upland pastures, birds on the bird cliffs and fish in the sea. The climate is not the best for cultivating cereals, vegetables, etc., so they were not of great importance.

Potatoes did not become a regular ingredient in the daily diet until the late 19th century, although people had long been familiar with them. Instead they used to boil Faroese swedes (Brassica) for dinner, for example.

The seasons set their stamp on eating habits. Fish was more or less available all year round, but mostly in the spring, when it provided roe in addition to liver. The opportunity to eat other fresh food arrived at the same time as spring fishing (March – April). Cows usually calved in spring, so there was most milk in summer. Birding and egg collecting (nest plundering on the bird cliffs) were also part of the summer, while the chances of catching pilot whales are greatest in August, when people could also go out into the potato fields and pick new potatoes. In autumn the men went up into the mountains to bring the sheep in for slaughtering. Nearly every bit of a slaughtered sheep was put to good use. As well as the meat, people used the head, trotters, liver, lungs, heart, stomach and blood (the collective Faroese word for which is avroð).

Since ancient times the only way to keep most foodstuffs was to salt or dry them. Salt was in short supply for a long time, so drying was the commonest method for preserving food. There were two salting methods, pickling in brine and dry-curing, with barrels being used for both.

Meat, whale, fowl and fish were all dried. Once gutted, sheep were hung up to dry in the wind in a single piece. Before birds were hung up, they were split along the back and tied together in pairs. Fish too were hung up to dry in pairs, while whale meat was cut into loops before hanging.

The autumn weather had a major impact on whether what had been hung up to dry tasted right. The drying process itself can be divided into three stages: visnað (lightly dried), ræst (semi-dried/seasoned) and dried. These terms refer to flavour, appearance and smell. What we can call “lightly dried” is achieved in just a few days and is much faster for fish than for whale meat. The word visnað is not generally used about meat.

The change to ræst is slow, but if the air suddenly turns cold, whatever has been hung up to dry can jump this stage and never gets the real semi-dried/seasoned flavour. If, on the other hand, the air is too warm, the dried meat can become too ræst and so end up with a harsh or rank flavour. Meat is normally dried until Christmas.

Mutton, fish, fowl and whale meat are eaten at all three stages of the process (and fresh too, of course). Visnað and ræst have to be cooked. Dried meat is eaten as it is. For food to have the best possible flavour, it has to be treated correctly, of course. In particular you have to make sure that flies are kept away, especially in mild autumn weather, or there is a risk of the food being spoiled by maggots.

Mealtimes vary from country to country. In days gone by there were three main mealtimes on the Faroe Islands: morgunmatur (lunch) at around 9 – 10 am, døgurði(dinner) at around 2 – 3 pm and nátturði (supper) at 9 pm or later. Normally there were also two smaller mealtimes: ábit (breakfast), which people ate when they got up early in the morning, and millummáli (tea), which came between dinner and supper.

For lunch people used to eat drýlur (cylindrical, unleavened bread, originally baked in the embers of the fire). Later, rye bread made from rye and wheat flour became more common. An accompaniment would be served with the unleavened bread. These days it is sliced meats and the like, but back then it was most likely to be a piece of mutton.

Dinner usually consisted of boiled fish, whale meat and blubber or fowl. In the late 19thcentury it became common for people to eat potatoes for dinner. On Sundays and festivals those who could (i.e. farmers) would have ræst meat and súpan – soup, specifically meat soup (made from preserved meat with flour or grains, etc., added). Cooked fish was also considered to be a good Sunday meal.

Supper nearly always took the form of spoon food, i.e. milk products of various sorts in summer and soup in winter. When the cow had calved there would be ketilost, a cold dish of heat-thickened colostrum served with cinnamon and sugar. Drýlur and bread were not eaten with supper, but it was common to eat wind-dried fish before the soup. People generally drank water, milk, milk mixed with water, tea or coffee.

No one started the day’s work on an empty stomach. Breakfast was therefore a slice ofdrýlur and a drink of milk, a little soup or leftovers from the previous day’s supper.

For tea people drank milk, tea or coffee accompanied by a slice of bread or, occasionally, pancakes. White bread or cake has gradually become more common.

Food was generally boiled. Every household had at least two pots: one for oily or greasy food such as blubber, liver, etc., and one for everything else. There were three types of food bowl: a meat bowl, a fish bowl and a snyktrog (for greasy or oily food). As well as their pots, people also kept large ladles (sleiv), slotted spoons (soðspón) and various “sticks” for stirring porridge (greytarsneis) and whipping milk or cream (a milk beater ortyril) in their one-roomed hut, which served as kitchen, workshop, living room and bedroom.

Times have changed, with the result that we now eat a lot of food bought in shopping centres – most of it foreign. The Faroe islanders have acquired an international cuisine, with vegetables, fruit and spices being a normal part of everyday life. But old Faroese food is still eaten with great relish and is regarded as a real delicacy.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Moldova - Traditional Food and Culinary Herbs 2014

Tehnical Details:
Date of Issue: 28 September 2014
Width: 46.0 mm
Height: 27.5 mm
Denomination: 1.00 MDL 1.20 MDL, 4.00 MDL, 7.00 MDL
Layout/Format: Sheet of 10
Perforations: 14 by 14.5
Designer: Vitaliu Pogolşa
Printer: Printing House Nova Imprim Chisinau Moldova
Stamp Issuing Authority: Ministére de la technologie de l’information et des communications Republique de Moldova

Traditional Food and Seasoning Plants, as follow: 
1.00 MDL - Fried Fish with Garlic
1.20 MDL - Bean Soup with Thyme
4.00 MDL - Cheese and Dill Pies
7.00 MDL - Chicken Broth with Parsley

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Romania - Live healthy! Romanian Traditions 2014

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 18 April 2014
Designer: Mihai Vamasescu
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 36 x 36, 164 x 92 mm
Values: 1 Leu, 3.60 Lei, 4.50 Lei, 8.10 Lei

About Live healthy! Romanian Traditions

Approaching in the wide range of philatelic themes, an issue of public interest concerning a balanced nutrition, Romfilatelia develops a new project dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, by introducing into circulation the postage stamp issue: Live healthy! Romanian traditions.

Taking into account that there is no food which can assure all our nutritional needs, it is important, and recommended to have a varied alimentation including fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, dairy products, meat and eggs.

The four stamps of the issue, having the face values ​​of lei 1.00, lei 3.60, lei 4.50 and lei 8.10, illustrate some of the traditional dishes that can be found on Romanians’ tables on Holidays.

Red eggs, lamb meat, season vegetables, cheese in fir-tree bark and cozonac cake are among the foods served during the Holy Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, being important symbols of the Easter holidays and embodying Resurrection, purity and the renaissance of the entire Creation.

The red egg has always been associated with the renaissance, the beginnings, and thereafter with the Resurrection of our Lord. Thus, egg tapping is accompanied by the Easter greetings: “Christ is Risen!”, “Truly He is risen!”, that Christians use on Easter time instead of “hello” or its equivalent. The red colour symbolizes the blood of Christ.

The Lamb is the symbol of innocence, gentleness and purity. The lamb or the ship embodies the animal to be sacrificed, the Christian as a member of God’s flock, and Jesus Christ who sacrificed himself for the salvation of people, overcoming evil. Roasted, baked or cooked in sour soup with vegetables, lamb meat is a delicious dish. From a nutritional point of view, rational consumption of lamb is recommended as it is highly rich in proteins, vitamins and microelements. However, to ensure proper functioning of the body, lamb roast and eggs should be associated with many salads and season vegetables, such as wild garlic, garlic, green onion, pilework, and many others.

The Easter traditional cake called Cozonac, a product similar to Pasca (a Romanian pastry containing eggs, sour cream and fresh cheese) is presented as the sweet bread of Resurrection and renaissance of the entire Creation, replacing thus the pasca or being served together with it.

A symbol of water, life, fertility and wisdom, the fish is one of the earliest Christian representations, Jesus calling the Apostles fishers of men, and feeding a large crowd of believers with only two fish and five loaves of bread. In addition to the union with Christ, the fish is also a symbol of water, life and spiritual food. Fish products have an excellent nutritional value. The amount of nutritive elements it contains varies according to the species and the environment they live in. Fish fats are characterised especially by the high amounts of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The cheese in fir-tree bark is a type of dairy prepared in the mountain areas, being an important source of fat-soluble vitamins (that can be dissolved in fats or oils), essential amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and zinc. A balancing element of daily alimentation, dairy products shouldn’t be missing from any person’s meals. They are delicious, healthy, and can be combined with many other ingredients.

The philatelic album is created into a limited run printing of 300 pcs. equipped with the block of 4 postage stamps and the First Day Cover of the issue, having the “first day” postmark clearly imprinted in gold foiling. Both products are numbered in black from 001 to 300.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Angola - Fruits and Vegetables 1998

Date of Issue: 4 October 1998

Various Angolan Vegetables & Fruits:
100,000 Kwanzas Reajustados - 4 Mangoes.
100,000k Kwanzas Reajustados - Squash Siced in Half.
120,000k Kwanzas Reajustados - Ears of Corn.
120,000k Kwanzas Reajustados - Green Beans.
140,000k Kwanzas Reajustados - Fruit with Red Seeds Sliced in Half.
140,000k Kwanzas Reajustados - Sliced Bananas.

Angola - Traditional Foods 2015

Palestine - Dates 2017

Date of Issue: 25 August 2017
Perforations: 14

Palm Tree & Dates:
150 Palestine Mils - Mejhool Dates
200 Palestine Mils - Berhi Dates
500 Palestine Mils - Hayani Dates

Laos - Traditional Foods 2007

Date of Issue: 30 December 2007

2000 Lao Kip - Sticky Rice Cooked in Bamboo Tube
5500 Lao Kip - Green Papaya Salad
7500 Lao Kip - Grilled Chicken

2000 Lao Kip - Sticky Rice Cooked in Bamboo Tube
Khao Lam Rice in Bamboo
Lao rice dishes can be spicy, salty, or sweet. Do not miss the chance to try the latter in one of its many variations.

Lao people adore rice. This will become quite clear once you explore the incredible amount of dishes made with rice. Rice with meat or rice soup will not surprise people from western countries, but rice desserts deserve some special attention.

When the cool season starts in November, Khao Lam appears in markets and at every festival. This is a sticky rice which is prepared in a bamboo tube with coconut milk and beans and plugged with coconut husk or banana leaves. When you buy this delicacy, you unwrap the bamboo cover and get a thick stick of sweet rice.

If you arrive in Laos at the end of the cool season in March, you will also find another variation of sweet sticky rice topped with slices of mango and coconut cream. Those who like experimental food should try such dish with durian.

This dish is popular as well in the neighbouring countries—Cambodia and Thailand, but each has its ​special ways of preparation.

5500 Lao Kip - Green Papaya Salad
Tum Mak Hoong - Laos Style Papaya Salad
Tum Mak Hoong is a popular Lao dish that is fast becoming well known around the world for its unique spiciness and flavor. The term “tum” in Laos means to “smash and mix” which is why it is prepared in a Laos Style Mortar and Pestle.

Tum Mak Hoong - Laos Style Papaya Salad Directions:
Peel the green outer layer of the papaya with a potato peeler. Shred the flesh of the papaya. Although you can use a grater, the traditional way is to place the papaya on a flat surface and cut into the flesh at about 1/8 inch intervals, then cut the papaya horizontally also at 1/8 inch intervals creating long thin shreds.
Combine garlic, chilies, salt, sugar, shrimp paste, and crab paste into mortar and pestle and grind until all the ingredients are well combined.
Add into the mortar the shredded papaya, snake beans, and carrots, and then add the fish sauce, cherry tomatoes, and lime. Mix and gentle grind all the ingredients to combine until the papaya starts to become darker in color.
Add the cherry tomatoes, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Recipe Notes:
Shrimp and crab paste, and fish sauce can be found at most mainstream supermarkets in the Asian food section, otherwise at any Asian food store.

7500 Lao Kip - Grilled Chicken
Laotian grilled chicken called ping gai is a lovely recipe to represent the flavors of Lao. It doesn’t take long at all to whip up the marinade. You should let it develop the flavors with the chicken for a minimum of two hours, but overnight is best if you have the time. Of course serve it along side some sticky rice, and a green papaya salad, for a delicious meal. Enjoy!

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Add in the chicken legs and coat well
Pour everything into a ziploc or air tight container and refrigerate for a minimum or two
hours or overnight.
Heat your grill to medium high heat and grill until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Serve with a little cilantro to garnish and of course some sticky rice.

Bhutan - Foods of Bhutan 2015

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bosnia Herzegovina (Croatia Post) - EUROPA, Gastronomy 2005

Date of Issue: 05 April 2005
Design: Miro Raguž and Stjepan Barbarić 
Stamp Size: 48.28 x 29.82 mm 
Printing: Zrinski d.d. Čakovec 
Paper: White paper, 102 g, gummed 
Perforation: 14

Traditional Meal
The simplicity of preparation but also the spice of taste characterize the food prepared in Herzegovinian households. Sometimes it was difficult to imagine a worker's meal in a field without meat dried on the smoke and sheep or cow's cheese. Today, this ordinary pastry meal becomes a prized appetite in many restaurants. The voice of the taste of the smoked ham of Herceg-Hague is already beyond the borders of Herzegovina. Homemade cheeses, prepared in a special way in a sheep's cheese, are valued and expensive traditional delicacies. Also, in the vineyards of Herzegovina, often guests would be served with meat or apricots of cheese and grapes to which white wine would be sown. The lovers of traditional gastronomy in Herzegovina have many reasons why the Herzegovinian ham is of special taste or why cheese from the mill is unique. For Herzegovinian prosciutto they say that special skills are needed to prepare. The correct position of the dryer, exposure to cold winter wind, the proper choice of wood that is stored in the drying room and proper storage are part of the traditional instructions for preparation. Today, meals, which were an integral part of daily diet in Herzegovina, served in modest wooden pots symbolize the old way of life and find a place in better restaurants. Croatian Post d.o.o. Mostar has issued an airstrip with two commemorative stamps in the sutisku, a small 4-page print, a first-day envelope and a maximum map.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Uzbekistan - National Cuisine 2017

Varieties, Myths and Legends 
Dishes similar to plov made of rice, meat, onions and carrots may be found all over the world but, however delicious, they are not the real thing. To taste this genuine wonder of eastern cuisine you have to go to Uzbekistan, where delicious aromas abound and wonderful recipes have been developed and perfected over the centuries. Uzbek plov is famous, a favorite of tourists, and chefs vie to prove their recipe is the best.

Plov is known and loved throughout Central Asia, but it is Uzbekistan where it originates and where the best varieties are to be found. Here plov accompanies momentous events from birth to holidays, anniversaries, weddings, family reunions and wakes.
This may seem repetitive, but in fact it is not: there are over sixty different plov recipes in Uzbek cuisine. In every area it is cooked in a special way, and an experienced gourmet would easily recognize the origins of a given plov, whether Samarqand, Fergana, Tashkent, Kashkadarya,Bukhara or Khorezm. Plov also differs according to the occasion: a wedding plov is the most magnificent, a holiday plov a bit less exotic, and there is even an everyday plov. These vary both in cooking technique and ingredients: plov is usually made with mutton, but it is sometimes replaced with kazi (horse meat sausage), sheep tail fat, chicken, pheasant or quail. Sometimes even the rice is replaced by buckwheat, wheat, mung beans or even vermicelli. Most types of plov include a similar set of ingredients: mutton, rice, carrots and spices, and the classic technique involves three main stages: the preparation of zirvak (liquid plov base), the adding of the rice and the final cooking.

How old is plov? The first references to a dish of rice and meat date back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Chronicles mention that plov was served as the main dish at weddings and important holidays. At that time it was only the rich that could afford it, for others it was an option only on feast days, or not at all. From then on plov was valued not only as delicious holiday fare, but also for its healing properties: it helped restore strength and resolve after heavy labor or battle.
No wonder Tamerlane included plov in his army’s rations. It is said that while planning an assault on Ankara he was grappling with several seemingly contradictory factors: a large army, long distances, fast movement, swift attack and transportation of supplies.

One of his advisors told him about a wonderfully delicious and nourishing dish, instructing:
“Take a big iron bowl. It should be old and well-used. Add meat from a ram that is not too young and not too old, some of the best rice, young carrots and the bitter onions that sting as strong as an Emir’s sword.
Cook it all until Allah himself smells the aroma, and the cook falls unconscious, overwhelmed by the taste of this divine dish”.
The legend says that even a small bowl of plov gave Tamerlane’s warriors strength for several days. It became the main food of his army and helped it to countless victories.
There are also sources which indicate that plov was known to the soldiers of Alexander the Great.

Another legend tells how the name “Palov osh”, or plov, came about. Once upon a time the ruler Of Bukhara’s son fell in love with the daughter of a poor craftsman. Sadly, local laws prohibited such a marriage. The Prince lost his sleep and appetite, but no one around him could understand what was happening. After a while the boy became so exhausted that his relatives took him to Avicenna, but the Prince would not divulge his worries because he thought there could be no cure. Avicenna decided to identify the reason for the patient’s anxiety by his pulse. He called a person who knew Bukhara and its people well, and asked him to start naming all the city districts one after another. When one district was announced, the Prince’s pulse went up. The great physician noticed this and askedhim to start naming the dwellers of that district. As soon as the girl’s name was pronounced, the boy’s pulse rose so high that there could be no more doubt. Avicenna prescribed treatment: the Prince should eat “palov osh” at least weekly until his strengthis fully recovered, and then marry his love. Perhaps this is the reason why plov is a mustat wedding feasts. So the name “palov osh” is in fact an acronym for its components: p - piyoz (onion), a - ayoz (carrot), l - lakhm (meat), о - olio (fat), v - vet (salt), о - ob (water), sh - shali (rice).

This is not just a beautiful legend. Plovis indeed made of these ingredients. In timerecipes have changed and been refined, and more ingredients added: raisins, peas,pepper,barberry, quince, garlic, apricots and manyother products and spices. Plov is usually served on big ceramic or porcelain plates. Pieces of meat are placed on top of the rice, as are garlic or quince, if used. Centuries ago it was served to each person separately on flat round breads, and to this day many people eat it with their hands, like their ancestors. Plov is always accompanied by salads made of fresh or marinated vegetables - tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, and fiuits and herbs such as pomegranate, dill or basil. Salads not only provide vitamins, but are essential to aid digestion of the plov, which is usually quite heavy. Green tea is also a must..

Plov is a treat for true gourmets, especially men, and tradition dictates that only men can cook a genuine holiday plov. It is the pinnacle of Uzbek cuisine and cooking skills - Uzbek chefs say that if you have mastered plov, any other dish will be easy.

Samosa (also spelled samsa, somsa, samoosa, sambosak, sambusa, singada, samuza, somasi, somas) is an Uzbek food consisting of flaky pasties with various fillings, both served at ceremonies and eaten in an everyday life. Samosa may have different shapes and forms and be cooked in a multiplicity of ways.

Today’s samosa is usually filled with meat (mutton, chicken or beef), vegetables (pumpkin, potato or onion), mushrooms, eggs, peas, herbs or even sweet substances. However, as in most of the Uzbek dishes, it is the spices, such as zira(zra, kumin), black and red hot pepper, and sesame (covering samosa on the top), that make the taste of the pasties really unique.

In the former times samosa was cooked only in a tandir oven (a Central Asian clay oven, also spelled tandyr, tandoor), on coals. Samosa baked in a tandir has specific taste and flavour and is filled with small pieces of meat, onion and some amount of fat from a sheep’s tail. Nowadays, some sorts of samosa are cooked in gas or electric ovens, which is faster and more convenient and, at the same time, makes samosa retain its original qualities.
The Uzbek cuisine also includes sweet sorts of samosa filled with fruit jams. On the top the sweet samosa is covered with sugar or sesame seeds. The sweet samosa is usually served with tea.

Samosa is normally made of classic or yeast flaky dough.
The same ingredients are used for almost all sorts of samosa: flour, water and salt. There are recipes with melted fat added. You can either use ready-made flaky dough or prepare it yourself.

The filling for samosa should contain a large portion of onion, which will make the pasties juicy.

How to cook samsa depends on which form you have chosen for it: round,triangular or square. Roll out the flaky dough to a thickness of 2 mm and cut into rounds or squares 10 cm by 10 cm in size. Put the prepared filling and a piece of fat from a sheep’s tail in the middle, join the edges and put on an oiled baking tray with the seams down. When samosa is baked in a tandir oven, the bottom side of the pasty is wetted with salt water.

Before putting the pasties in the oven, smear them with egg yolk and cover with sesame seeds. The cooking time depends on the filling: if it is vegetables (pumpkin or potatoes), bake the pasties for10-15 minutes, while samosa with meat requires more time - 30-40 minutes.

Azerbaijan - National Cuisine 2017

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sweden - Foods in Sweden 2016

A world of food on Sweden’s stamps; local cuisine in Norden series: New Stamps of the World

A hamburger represents American cuisine on a new stamp from Sweden.

The hamburger has the works on it, including cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayonnaise, and ketchup. Separate images of tomato, onion, and corn also are included in the design.

The stamp was issued March 17, one of five different designs in a booklet called Food in Sweden but picturing food from other parts of the world.

The Postnord press release announcing the stamps includes a quote from Richard Tellstrom, a researcher at the Department of Restaurant and Culinary Arts at Orebro University: “It is possible to view the food depicted on the stamps in two ways — in part as our choice of what we want to eat and in part as an indication of how we pick up food cultures from others.

“Food culture is constantly evolving, and the trends are often taken from New York, London and Paris. One example of this is sushi, which we did not bring directly from Japan. This dish, which is so popular today, came to us in the 1980s via New York.”

Sushi is pictured on one of the stamps. Other food cultures represented on the stamps include Mexican, Italian, and Middle Eastern.

The Mexican cuisine stamp depicts a taco, a chili pepper, and slices of lime, avocado and onion.

The stamp for Italian cuisine features pasta being twirled around the tines of a fork. Other ingredients for a pasta dish, including a mushroom, mussel, cheese, tomato, and spice, also are illustrated.

Selected to appear in the design of the Middle Eastern cuisine stamp are shish kebab, stuffed grape leaves, and eggplant.

All of the stamps are nondenominated with the word “brev,” indicating that they pay the basic domestic letter rate. The booklet contains 10 stamps (five of each design).

Veronica Ballart Lilja created the illustrations for the stamps.

She also designed a coil stamp displaying typical Swedish food for the multination Norden series.

Every other year, the eight Nordic postal administrations of Aland, Denmark, Faroe, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden issue stamps on a common theme. The theme for 2016 is Nordic food culture.

The 13-krone Norden stamp from Sweden shows crisp bread, a slice of cheese, a hard boiled egg, a potato, chives, and herring.

Tellstrom called the crisp bread and cheese “a historic combination that reaches back to at least the time of the Vikings.”

United States of America - Delicioso 2017

USD 0.49 - Tamales
USD 0.49 - Flan
USD 0.49 - Sancocho
USD 0.49 - Empanadas
USD 0.49 - Chile Relleno
USD 0.49 - Ceviche

Sextet of stamps serves up ‘delicioso’ foods from Caribbean, south of the border:
Six United States stamps celebrating prepared dishes from south of the border and the Caribbean will be issued April 20 in a double-sided pane of 20.

The Delicioso set of six nondenominated (49¢) forever stamps features illustrations depicting tamales, flan, sancoho, empanadas, chile relleno, and ceviche.

The artwork and stamp design was created by John Parra, an illustrator born and raised in Santa Barbara, Calif., and now based in Queens, N.Y.

“Each illustration was created by applying multiple layers of acrylic paint to textured boards, using sandpaper to reveal the hidden layers and give the designs a worn, vintage look,” the U.S. Postal Service stated in its announcement of the new stamps.
The double-sided pane of 20 Delicioso stamps, which the Postal Service describes as a booklet, will include four stamps with the tamales and flan illustrations, and three stamps each of the other four subjects.

Parra graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and is best known for his illustrated Latino-themed children’s books, according to an online biography at

Postal Service art director Antonio Alcala was also involved in this stamp project.

The stamps are offset-printed and processed by Banknote Corporation of America.

The Postal Service will issue an undisclosed quantity of Delicioso stamp press sheets consisting of eight die-cut double-sided panes of 20 (160 stamps) selling for face value at $78.40.

According to a recent statement from the Postal Service to Linn’s Stamp News, the standard print quantity when press sheets are issued is 1,000 sheets.

The stamps are being issued in Albuquerque, N.M., according to the Postal Service, but as this issue of Linn’s was heading to press, there had been no announcement regarding a first-day ceremony.

On April 20, the National Hispanic Cultural Center at 1701 Fourth St. SW in Albuquerque will host its free Salud y Sabor: Nuevo Mexico food and entertainment event in the Domenici Education Building.

It is not known if the Delicioso stamps will be issued in association with this community event.

Prepared foods are infrequently featured on U.S. stamps, but this new set comes just nine months after the five Soda Fountain Favorites stamps were issued June 30, 2016, featuring appealing treats such as an ice cream sundae, a float, and a banana split (Scott 5093-5097).

The Postal Service said that with the issuance of the new Delicioso forever stamps, it is celebrating the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.

The six dishes, “from an array of Latin American culinary traditions … have found new life and variations in the United States,” the Postal Service notes. reports that tamales were offered to visitors at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, but the history of the familiar dish of cheese and seasoned meat, wrapped in a corn masa and traditionally cooked within a corn husk or banana leaf, dates back to ancient Mesoamerican cultures.

Though popular in Latin America, flan is known in many variations throughout the world. The sweet and spongy custard is often prepared with a carmel topping as a tasty dessert.

Sancocho is a filling soup or stew created with meat and vegetables; Caribbean variations include rice and beans added to chicken, sometimes mixed with other meats.

The empanada is a folded dough or bread baked or fried with a meat and cheese filling that can vary from region to region. International variations include the pasty in England, the calzone in Italy, and the pierogi in the American Midwest.

Take a large mild roasted pepper, such as a poblano, Anaheim, or Hatch chile; stuff it with minced meat, onions, and garlic; add cheese if you like. Coat it with an egg and flour batter, bake or fry, top it with a little salsa or sour cream, and you’ll enjoy chile rellenos, a hearty dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The cold seafood side dish known as ceviche includes fish or shrimp marinated with lime or other citrus, tomatoes, chiles, onions, and spices.

Technical details and first-day cover ordering information for the Delicioso stamps are given below:
Non denominated (49¢) Delicioso forever stamps
Date of Issue: 20 April 2017
City: Albuquerque, N.M., and nationwide
Design: Artist and Designer: John Parra, Jamaica, N.Y.
Art Director and Typographer: Antonio Alcala, Alexandria, Va.
Modelers: Sandra Lane and Michelle Finn
Printing Process: Offset with Microprinting
Printer and Processor: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, N.C.
Press: Alprinta 74
Inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Pantone Matching System 8 cool gray
Paper: Phosphor Tagged, Block Tagging;
Gum: Self-Adhesive
Issue Quantity: 200 million stamps
Format: six designs in double-sided pane of 20, from 800-subject cylinders
Size: 1.05 inches by 0.77 inches (image); 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches (overall); 2.375 inches
by 5.743 inches (full pane); 9.5 inches by 11.486 inches (press sheet)
Plate Numbers: “B” followed by five single digits;
Marginal Markings: “Delicioso,” “20 First-Class Forever Stamps,” USPS logo, bar code, plate numbers, “©2016 USPS”
USPS Item No: 672704

United States of America - Frozen Treats 2018

Cool off with Frozen Treats, a U.S. Postal Service Forever stamp issuance featuring frosty, colorful, icy pops on a stick. The tasty, sweet confections come in a variety of shapes and flavors.

Today, Americans love cool, refreshing ice pops on a hot summer day. Modern frozen treats are available in many varieties. Ice pops are made by large manufacturers, home cooks, and artisanal shops. In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges, and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer, and cola are also popular. Some frozen treats even have two sticks, making them perfect for sharing.

This booklet of 20 stamps showcases Margaret Berg’s whimsical watercolor illustrations of frozen treats. Each of the 10 stamp designs include two different treats. The words “FOREVER” and “USA” appear along the bottom of every stamp.

The new stamps “will add the sweet scent of summer to letters of love, friendship, party invitations and other mailings,” according to the Postal Service.

No additional details were provided about the scent that the stamps will carry. Linn’s Stamp News requested information from the Postal Service about the material and the process used to create the scratch-and-sniff component, but the inquiry had not been answered as this issue was going to press.

Technical details for this issue show that both offset lithography and flexography were used to manufacture the stamps, so it is likely that the scented material is added during the flexographic process.

Flexographic printing, which employs a flexible relief plate in a rotary printing process, has been used previously by the Postal Service; for example, to apply a surface texture to the 2016 set of eight Have a Ball stamps (Scott 5203-5210).

The 10 different Frozen Treats stamp designs each show two “frosty, colorful, icy pops on a stick,” set against a white background.

The watercolor illustrations are by California artist Margaret Berg, a native of South Africa who studied at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Leslie Badani and USPS art director Antonio Alcala, both of Alexandria, Va., also contributed to the design of this issue.

The treats that are shown each have distinctive characteristics, including one that has decorations resembling a circle of watermelon seeds; another adorned with kiwi, orange and strawberry; others with colorful stripes and curlicues; and a few that appear to include chocolate as an ingredient.

“Forever” and “USA” are printed along the bottom of each stamp.

This is the first time the United States has issued scratch-and-sniff stamps, where a scent is released if the surface of the stamp is scraped by a fingernail, coin or similar object.

For stamp collectors, who make every effort to preserve their collectible items in an undamaged state, the scratch-and-sniff option might create a dilemma, as scratching the surface of the stamp runs counter to that instinct of preservation.

The solution might be to buy two panes of the new stamps: one to save, and one to scratch and sniff.

Linn’s has not had access to the Frozen Treats stamp panes as this issue was being prepared, and therefore cannot report if the aroma can be detected without scratching the stamps.

“Modern frozen treats are available in many varieties,” the Postal Service said. “Ice pops are made by large manufacturers, home cooks, and artisanal shops. In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges, and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer, and cola are also popular. Some frozen treats even have two sticks, making them perfect for sharing.”

Historic figures from Marco Polo to Thomas Jefferson reportedly enjoyed ice creams and treats made from shaved ice and flavorings, but Unilever, the company that today markets the well-known Popsicle brand of ice pops, claims that this treat was the first such item prepared on a stick, an accidental invention in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson.

The Frozen Treats forever stamps are the second U.S. issue within two years to feature icy cold dessert treats. The Postal Service issued a set of five Soda Fountain Favorites forever stamps in a pane of 20 on June 30, 2016, illustrating an ice cream cone, an egg cream, a banana split, a root beer float and a hot fudge sundae (5093-5097)