Food Not Getting Its Just Deserts on Postage Stamps

Article excerpt

Every three months, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee meets in Washington to deliberate what fresh images might grace our postage stamps.

According to the U.S. Postal Service, every year it receives 50,000 suggestions from the public about who and what to commemorate, and why.

Make that 50,001. This is another. With all due respect to those who lobbied so successfully for the recent stamp series, "Aquarium Fish," "All Aboard Trains" and "Extreme Sports," where are the cooks?

In all this "Celebration of the Century" that the postal service is getting up to, where are the food inventors, the horticulturists, the winemakers, the restaurateurs and the distillers who forged the American table? Where is Asa Candler, creator of Coca-Cola, or Fred Waring, bandleader and inventor of the blender?

Consider the possibilities -- a process best begun with a drink. There could be a bourbon sequence, starting with Jack Daniel and Dr. Crow of Old Crow. One could flavor the gum on the back of the stamps. There could be cocktail stamps for the martini, the mint julep, the boilermaker. And what of our winemakers, such as Agoston Haraszthy, who imported countless grape varieties, including, apparently, Zinfandel?

Granted, the recent series on unfermented fruits was lovely. But there is more to fruit than a strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. Where is the watermelon, the cantaloupe and, oh, yum, the honeydew?

Certainly, it is trickier to honor people than things. Foodies with ardent followings such as Julia Child, Alice Waters and Ben & Jerry automatically are disqualified. …