Earlier this year, Carlo Petrini, founder of the international Slow Food movement visited Scotland and issued a challenge to the newly formed charity to identify 100 at risk foods in Scotland and board them onto the Ark of Taste - an international “forgotten foods” catalogue managed by Slow Food and sponsored by the European Commission.
Slow Food Scotland has taken up the challenge and appointed a new Ark of Taste commission and project manager to take this ambitious project forward. Only ten Scottish products have previously boarded the ark, two of which were reesit mutton and beremeal.
The Scottish Ark of Taste commission, a group representing chefs, farmers, activists, and academics, has identified over 250 potential breeds, crops, and processed goods that are at risk of extinction in Scotland. Working on behalf of the Ark Commission, Josiah Lockhart, Slow Food Scotland’s project manager, leads a team of 10-20 volunteers, working in conjunction Slow Food’s Chefs Alliance and producers, to work through the list to try and gain “Ark of Taste” status.
To launch the “100 items by Terra Madre” project, Slow Food Scotland has worked with Arbikie Estate and Hammond Charcuterie to successfully apply for Ark of Taste status for Wild Scottish Juniper. Wild Scottish Juniper joins over 2700 other items from across the world in an online catalogue managed by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity that promotes the flavour, history and taste of these products.
Every two years, the 190 member nations within the slow food community converge in Turin at Terra Madre to share their culture, products, tastes, and experience with one another. At Terra Madre 2014, the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme collected stories from the global ark of taste and are currently featuring them at the end of each programme.
Anyone can nominate items to the Ark of Taste in Scotland by getting in touch with the ark commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.