An ark of taste is a movement originally defined in eco-gastronomy, to protect "gastronomic products threatened by industrial standardization, hyperhygienist legislation, the rules of the large-scale retail trade and the deterioration of the environment," according to the Slow Food movement. Originally begun in Northern Italy, the program has regional offices in Germany, France, Switzerland and the United States.
An ark of taste is intended to rediscover, catalogue, describe and promote "almost forgotten flavors", e.g. violino di capra, e.g. Caciocavallo podolico, e.g.mullet roe. These food products are in "danger of extinction" due to agricultural policy, consumer habits, wholesale or regulatory standards.
Those that are deemed to have real productive and commercial potential, can often be revived, e.g. by local groups devoted to creating these "arks" to promote organic food and localism in agriculture.
See also: seed bank
The Slow Food movement classifies potential products into the following categories:
- Vegetable species, varieties and ecotypes
- Vegetable-derived processed products
- Animal populations
- Animal breeds for human consumption
- Animal-derived processed products