Ark of Taste - Protecting Biodiversity

The Ark of Taste is an international project that counts over 3000 products worldwide that are at risk of becoming extinct due to industrial agriculture, the standardisation and large-scale distribution of global food markets, and environmental issues. Slow Food Australia's Ark of Taste reflects our country's vast landscape of diverse climates, cultures and unique flora and fauna - from Queensland's native Bunya nut to Victoria's heritage pear varieties.

Particularly important for the Australian Ark are foods from the traditional diets of indigenous Australians and cultures, such as the Pindan walnut from Western Australia and Finger limes from Australia’s East Coast, and post-colonisation food and culture. These wild foods reflect not only exciting and largely unknown nutritional and flavour profiles, but also the great importance of cultural knowledge and landscapes and the passing on of that knowledge. The Australian Ark currently includes 23 products, with a lot more in the nomination stage. With our unique flora and fauna, we hope to add many more to the Ark. Anyone, anywhere can nominate a food to the Ark of Taste! Here is what it takes to be on the Ark of Taste:

  • Endangered: 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.
  • Good: Ark of Taste products are prized by those who eat them for their special taste or process
  • Clean: No engineered foods here; everything on the Ark of Taste is linked to the place and community that protects them, and has the potential to be grown, raised or produced without harm to the environment.
  • Fair: to keep these food traditions alive take many hands. No commercial or trademarked items are allowed on the Ark, only foods that anyone may champion, produce, share or sell.

Know of a product that should board the Ark of Taste? Let us know! nomination forms here.

Australian Ark of Taste coordinator: Vince Velletri

 

What is Ark of Taste?

Angasi Oyster

Angasi Oyster

The Angasi oyster (Ostrea angasi), also called the southern mud oyster or flat oyster, is a large, rounded oyster...

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Blacklip Abalone

Like all of the native species, Blacklip Abalone (Haliotis rubra) was widely used as a food by the Indigenous...

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Bull Boar sausage

The Bull Boar is a beef and pork sausage produced by the Italian-speaking Swiss population of the Victorian Gold...

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Bunya Nuts

The bunya tree (Araucaria bidwillii) is the last surviving species in the world of the section bunya of the...

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Bush banana

The bush banana (Marsdenia australis) known as the silky pear or green vine is a small woody vine that...

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Bush bean

The bush bean (Rhyncharrhena linearis) has been an important food source for the indigenous people of Central Australia for...

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Bush Coconut

Bloodwood Gall, Merne arrkirlpangkwerle (Northern Territory) Aboriginal people have eaten native bushfoods for several thousands of centuries on the...

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Bush onion (onion grass)

The bush onion (Cyperus bulbosus) is an annual sedge with grassy leaves and chocolate brown seed heads. The roots...

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Bush potato

The bush potato (Ipomoea costata) is a small vine-like shrub whose longer branches often creep to the ground, sometimes...

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Bush tomato

The mature Bush Tomato (Solanum cleistogamum), also known as kutjera, kampurarpa or akatjura, is a highly nutritious pale yellow...

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Central Australian Wild Plum

In central Australia, the wild plum (Santalum lanceolatum) is a clonal shrub about 3 m high with drooping, bluish-green,...

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Cole’s Wattle

The Coles’ wattle (Acacia colei) is a traditional food of Australian Aboriginal people. It is a large shrub up...

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Dairy Shorthorn cattle

Dairy Shorthorn cattle breed is a worldwide critically-endangered dual-purpose (ie. milk and beef) breed of cattle, whose numbers have...

Smooth Davidson's Plum

Davidson Plum

Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia jerseyana) and the smooth Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia Johnsonii) are both endangered fruit species indigenous to a...

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Dead finish seeds

Acacia tetragonophylla locally known as dead finish is a tree native to Australia. It took its name after extreme...

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Desert pear

The desert pear (Cynanchum floribundum) is a small multi-stemmed shrub growing to about 1m in height with edible fruit....

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Desert Quandong

The desert quandong (Santalum acuminatum), also known as the native peach, is a shrub or small tree up to...

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Desert raisin

The desert raisin (Solanum centrale) is a member of the tomato family and is possibly the most important of...

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Desert truffle (funghi)

The desert truffle is a species of truffle-like fungi in genus Choiromyces (Choiromyces aboriginum). It is native to dry...

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Desert Yam

The desert yam (Ipomoea polpha ssp. latziiu) is a very rare perennial plant occurring only in a small area...

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Finger Lime

A thorny subtropical and dry rainforest shrub in the coastal border region of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia

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Galloway cattle

Galloways are a landrace breed originating in southwest Scotland and are said to be one of or the oldest,...

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Gin Perry Pear

Gin Perry Pear is a fermented alcoholic beverage, which can be either sparkling or still, and has traditionally been...

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Green Horse Perry Pear

Perry is a fermented alcoholic beverage, which can be either sparkling or still, and has traditionally been made in...

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Honey, KI Ligurian bee

This honey is produced only on Kangaroo Island by Ligurian bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) originally imported in the 1880s....

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Leatherwood Honey

Leatherwood honey is, as its name suggests, the honey that bees produce from the nectar of the Leatherwood (Eucryphia...

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Manna Wattle

Acacia is the largest genus of vascular plant in Australia, an edible wattle. There are 1200 species endemic to...

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Margaret River Hairy Marron

The Margaret River Hairy Marron (Cherax tenuimanus) is a large freshwater crayfish that is endemic to the upper regions...

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Monaro Purple

The Monaro Purple is an Australian species in the onion genus, Allium. Its origin is not proved however, it...

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Moorcroft perry pear

Perry is a fermented alcoholic beverage, which can be either sparkling or still, and has traditionally been made in...

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Murray Cod

The Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii) is a large Australian predatory freshwater fish. Although the species is called a cod...

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Muscat (sundried), Swan Valley

The Muscat grape (Vitis vinifera Gordo Blanco) can trace its origin back to ancient Egypt and Persia, where it...

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Native blackseed samphire

Samphire (Tecticornia) is a genus of salt tolerant, ground hugging succulents, some of which are endemic or unique to...

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Native cabbage tree palm

The cabbage-tree palm (Livistona australis) is an Australian evergreen tall, slender palm that grows to about 25 meters in...

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Native mint

Mint bush is a native to Australia genus of flowering plants (Prostanthera violacea) of the Lamiaceae family. It is...

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Native sarsaparilla

A native Australian sarsaparilla (Smilax glyciphylla) is a climber that grows in open forest/littoral rainforests, predominantly on the coast....

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North Rothbury Persoonia

The North Rothbury Persoonia (Persoonia pauciflora) is one of 98 species of Persoonia shrubs belonging to the Proteaceae plant...

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Parakeelya (Witchetty grub)

The witchetty grub is the larvae of Xyleutes biarpiti which is a large grey moth of the Cossidae family....

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Paterson River Orange

Paterson River Oranges are a sweet, seeded, eating oranges grown only in the Paterson area of the Hunter Valley,...

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Pencil Yam

The pencil yam also known as small yam or native bean is a trailing herb or creeper, sometimes covering...

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Pindan Walnut

The Pindan walnut (Terminalia cunninghamii), also known as the “Kalumburu almond,” is native to the north western coast of...

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Red Longdon Perry Pear

Perry is a fermented alcoholic beverage which can be either sparkling or still, and has traditionally been made in...

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Rosella jam

Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of hibiscus native to the tropics of the northern hemisphere. It is well...

Smooth Davidson's Plum

Smooth Davidson Plum

The Smooth Davidson plum (Davidsonia johnsonii) is an endangered variety of fruit native to eastern Australia. The Smooth Davidson...

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Smooth skin Geraldton tomato

The Smooth Skin Geraldton Tomato is a small to medium sized, round, red tomato with very firm and sweet...

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Wessex Saddleback Pig

Originating from the New Forest in southern England, this breed was a foraging breed for over ten centuries, thriving...

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Wild orange

The Wild orange (Capparis mitchellii) also known as native orange or wild pomegranate is one of the traditional Australian...

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Wild passionfruit

The wild passionfruit (Capparis spinosa var. nummularia) is a native Australian spiny medium sized dense shrub about 1.5m high...

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Witchetty grub

The witchetty grub is the larvae of Xyleutes biarpiti which is a large grey moth of the Cossidae family....

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Woylie (rat-kangaroo)

The Woylie (Bettongia ogilbyi), Rat Kangaroo, or Brush-tailed Bettong, is a tiny nocturnal member of the Kangaroo family. Kangaroo...

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Yellow Huffcap Perry Pear

Perry is a product from which a beverage has traditionally been made in England and Wales for more than...