How to create the largest catalogue of the world’s flavors: a heritage to discover and save

The Ark of Taste is a project of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. It is a catalogue of products that belong to the cultures and traditions of the entire world and that are at risk of disappearing.

Aboard the Ark are animal and vegetable species, but also transformed products, because together with plant and animal biodiversity, also being lost are cheeses, cured meats, breads ands sweets: expressions of farmers and artisans’ unwritten knowledge, which is complex and rich with skills and practices handed down for generations.

In October of 2012 in Turin, Italy, the Slow Food International Congress reaffirmed the central theme of biodiversity, re-launching the Ark of Taste project as a fundamental instrument of the association to involve members, producers and local communities.

The Ark was born to draw attention to the existence of products at risk of extinction and to invite everyone to do something to safeguard them: search for them, purchase them, eat them, tell their stories, help their producers, and, in some cases (when the products are wild species at risk of extinction), protect them to favor their repopulation.

The objective of the Ark is not to create a seed bank, a collection of germplasm, or a museum to display traditional knowledge, but to rediscover these resources and to promote them.

Beginning with this catalogue, in 1999 Slow Food went on to create the first Slow Food Presidia, and still today, nominating a product to the Ark of Taste is often the first step to successfully creating a Slow Food Presidium.

How does one identify an Ark product and what are the criteria for nominations?

This video, created by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, illustrates the simple steps to follow to save a product at risk.

Everyone can consult the Ark catalogue and nominate a product from his or her own area by visiting the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity website.

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Photos  — Archivio Slow Food

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