Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

These new stamps celebrate Latin American dishes and they are 'delicioso'

by Lori Galarreta | Take Two®

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Tamales, Flan, Sancocho and Empanada stamps. USPS

Tamales, flan, sancocho, empanadas, chile relleno and ceviche.

These are staples in Latin American cuisine that are enjoyed throughout Southern California. Now, all this yumminess will grace some postage stamps near you.

Illustrations of these tasty treats are part of the U.S. Postal Service’s new "Delicioso Forever" stamps line, which was released Thursday.

To celebrate, we got in touch with John Parra. He's the artist that created the mouthwatering postage. He joined A Martinez via Skype.

How does someone get their art on a stamp?

"I've been a professional illustrator and artist for about 20 years now and most people actually know me for my children's books. I do many different children's books with Latino themed work in them. So, I'm kind of guessing that they probably saw some of those books and contacted me because of that."

Sancocho, Empanadas, Chile Relleno and Ceviche stamps.
Sancocho, Empanadas, Chile Relleno and Ceviche stamps. USPS

Dish diversity

"My background is more Mexican and I grew up in California, so I was very familiar with a lot of the dishes from the Mexican side of the family and things like this, but now that I live in New York and my wife is Puerto Rican...and she's a wonderful cook...but they have their own style of cooking dishes.

...And you have friends of Colombia and Ecuadoran...and they all have different styles, even though there's some overlap. Some may call it different things and they use different ingredients. So, I think the choices that we selected for the stamps...they could appeal to different Latin American cultures. So, empanadas could be across many different countries...we wanted to select some of the choices for the stamps that anybody could say, 'Hey this is what we cook at my house!' No matter what Latin American country you were brought up in or come from."

Delicioso Forever stamp line.
Delicioso Forever stamp line. USPS

Stamp style

"Working on this was such a challenge because the size of the stamp...it has to be very clear when you're looking at these stamps that are just 1 inch by 1 inch in size. I wanted to make it that people would look at the stamps and be really just excited about them and really make them hungry, in a sense! 

When we think of Latino food, it evokes a very specific wonderful feeling of the food and I really wanted to kind of...with that sort of enjoyment...I wanted to make that a part of the work."

To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.

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