The diversity of regional livestock breeds and old plant varieties protects our ecosystems, food and eating culture and the variety of flavours on our plates. This is why Slow Food also cares about biocultural diversity, which is actively promoted through the “Slow Food Presidio” and “Ark of Taste” projects.
Slow Food Presidio
With the Presidia, Slow Food has been helping artisanal food producers since 1999 to create a market that overcomes their isolation and the problems associated with it; a market that is more aware of the value of their products.
Slow Food Presidia are dedicated to the protection of traditional products, traditional production methods and cultural landscapes, each of which is threatened with extinction.
In each case, it is important to have direct contact with those producers who share Slow Food's values and philosophy, and who are committed to working together to further develop the project. The uniqueness of the food is just as important as its regional and historical roots and its traditional and sustainable production.
Worldwide, more than 300 products are now recognised as Slow Food Presidia.
In Austria there are currently 4 Presidia: Grubenkraut (pit cabbage); Lungau Tauern rye; Wiener Gemischter Satz (in winemaking) and Wiesenwienerwald wild service tree.
Ark of Taste
The Ark of Taste is an international project and represents the world cultural heritage of food. In it, almost forgotten, regionally valuable foods, plant species and livestock breeds, which could not survive on the market under the current economic conditions, are protected worldwide.
The aim of the Ark of Taste is to draw attention to the existence of these special products, to raise awareness of the danger of extinction and to campaign for the protection of food, plants and farm animal breeds threatened with extinction. Currently there are about 1,155 entries worldwide - 27 of which are Ark Passengers from Austria!
Journey to the roots of good taste:
The Gailtal Valley, Lesachtal Valley and Lake Weissensee are located along the Carnic Alps in Carinthia in the south of Austria.