The Ark of Taste was born in 1996 on the occasion of the first Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy. The Manifesto for the project was written one year later to define the objectives.

In 1999, the Italian Scientific Ark Committee was formed to identify product categories and selection criteria.

The work done by the Italian Ark was followed by the creation of new commissions in many other countries that got to work cataloguing products. The first to begin were the Americans and Germans, followed by the Swiss, Dutch and French.

On October 26, 2002 at the Salone del Gusto, these groups brought their experiences together to form the International Ark Commission.

The International Commission ensures that the selection criteria is a work tool that is relevant to the international context and that reflects diverse experiences from around the world. It also selects Ark products in countries where a commission has not been formed, or where there is not a Slow Food network.

In the picture: Scandicci (Italy), 2008 International Ark Commission © Ezra Wolfhart Kurth

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