Saturday, February 23, 2013

From a communist country to a Costco near you

Costco Wholesale's Kirkland Signature Ground Saigon Cinnamon label is superimposed on a map of Vietnam, a communist country. A run-on sentence with a typo describes the cinnamon trees and the "unmatched" sweet-hot flavor of the cinnamon. 

I've been using Costco Wholesale's Ground Saigon Cinnamon for years, and love the special flavor it gives to homemade lattes, hot cereal and salt-free roasted almonds.

I also buy Costco's farmed Black Tiger Shrimp from Vietnam, a communist country, and I know that schools of farmed, catfish-like basa fillet land on U.S. shores every year.

I don't really have a problem with Costco selling food from a communist country.

But I wish Costco and other U.S. retailers would sell products from another communist government, the one on the island of Cuba.

The trade embargo imposed on Cuba in the Kennedy administration means any U.S. company that tries to sell island products faces big financial penalties.

And customs officials likely would confiscate and destroy any Cuban products brought home by American tourists returning from the Caribbean's biggest island.

Cuba is known for its wonderful rum, but also produces excellent coffee, and it's the only place I know where you can find 100% mango juice in grocery stores.

Americans buy fresh, wild-caught red snapper from South America, but are denied Cuban pargo, lobster and other seafood.   

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