Ark of Taste

The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods we keep them in production and on our plates.


Since 1996, more than 1,100 products from over 50 countries have been added to the International Ark of Taste. Over 200 of these foods are from the USA, and we are always seeking more edible treasures to include.

The Ark of Taste is a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country’s diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage.


Ark of Taste in the USA Catalog

You can help grow this catalog by becoming an Ark of Taste explorer. Organize a field trip to find the special foods in the fields, kitchens, markets, woods and streams near you that haven’t yet been listed on the Ark of Taste, then…


Anyone, anywhere can nominate a food to the Ark of Taste. Here’s a quick look at what it takes to be on the Ark of Taste.


Produced in limited quantities, these foods will not be around in another generation or two without immediate action. Risk factors may be biological, commercial, or cultural.


Whether an animal breed, baked treat, fruit, spice, grain, or beverage these foods are prized by those who eat them for their special taste.


No engineered foods here. These foods are linked to the place and the community that protects them. Everything on the Ark of Taste has the potential to be grown, raised or produced without harm to the environment.


To keep these foods’ traditions alive takes many hands. No commercial or trademarked items are allowed on to the Ark of Taste, only foods that anyone may champion, produce, share or sell.

Ready to get nominating?
Check out the Ark of Taste Nomination Process for all the details.


Foods on the Ark of Taste are, of course, a bit difficult to find. Keep on the look out for sources to support, or grow and make them your self! Here are some resources to help you “Eat it to save it!”


Want to make your vegetable garden a refuge for food biodiversity? Get Ark of Taste seeds from these resources.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Nature and Nurture Seeds
Seed Savers Exchange
Sustainable Seed Company
Terroir Seeds
Victory Seed


Slow Food USA has teamed up with LocalHarvest, a comprehensive online directory of small farmers, farmers markets and other local food sources, to connect consumers to producers* of Ark of Taste foods. Check out the listings* here to find a producer near you.

Search the Local Harvest directory for producers of Ark of Taste foods.
Register on Local Harvest if you sell Ark of Taste foods. It’s free!

* The producers themselves provide the information in the listings on Slow Food USA does not review the information found in the listings.


What to do once you’ve got an Ark of Taste ingredient? Try one of these recipes.

Algonquin Squash and White Sonoran Wheat Empanada
Coconut Lime Carolina Gold Rice Pudding
Pissaladière Niçoise
Reezy Peezy
Shrub Recipes


Give others a chance to enjoy the flavors of your region. You could encourage a local chef or restaurant to use Ark of Taste, heirloom, or heritage foods on their menu or for a special event. You could also host a meal or potluck exploring the flavors and stories of these foods.


Across the country chapters are hosting tastings, grow outs, Ark of Taste dinners and more. Become a member of Slow Food USA and Slow Food Metro North to support the Ark of Taste at the national and international level.