The Ark of Taste is an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion. Contrary to the most literal definition of plant and animal conservation, the Ark of Taste aims to maintain edibles in its purview by actively encouraging their cultivation for consumption. By doing so, Slow Food hopes to promote the growing and eating of foods which are sustainable and preserve biodiversity in the human food chain.
Foods included in the list are intended to be “culturally or historically linked to a specific region, locality, ethnicity or traditional production practice”,in addition to being rare. Which foods meet these criteria is decided by an adjudicating committee made up of members of the Slow Food nonprofit organization; all candidates go through a formal nomination process which includes tastings and identification of producers within the region.
Since the foundation of the Ark in 1996, 5312 products (September 2021) from over 130 countries have been included and growing daily.