On 20 August 2021, the national Ark of Taste menu was introduced to the general public in Azerbaijan. The menu has been prepared within the EU-funded project, Community-based Value Chain Enhancement in the Greater Caucasus Mountains Area (COVCHEG), based on the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair food.
The Ark of Taste menu was put together using local ingredients, such as grapes, rice, nuts and other food varieties that are part of the Ark of Taste – an international Slow Food catalogue listing products that might disappear soon. Moreover, these products are made by local communities of farmers and food producers, who are brought together by the Slow Food Presidia. These producers are encouraged to sustain quality production, recover traditional processing methods and safeguard native breeds, local plant varieties as well as unique regions and ecosystems.
"The launch of the Ark of Taste menu is another milestone in raising awareness about the local products of Azerbaijan that need to be put back on the table and developing more sustainable practices in the country”, said Florian Sengstschmid, Chief Executive Officer of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board.
In addition to the Ark of Taste and Presidia, the Slow Food Travel (SFT) concept has also been prepared within the COVCHEG project. The aim of developing the SFT concept is to combine travel with first-hand culinary experiences based on meetings with local farmers, shepherds, winemakers, butchers or bakers and learning more about local gastronomic traditions.
Considering the importance of local gastronomy and cultural heritage, the EU-funded COVCHEG project is being implemented by Slow Food in partnership with the Azerbaijan Tourism Board. This project aims to foster economic regeneration and the well-being of rural communities, and create sustainable livelihoods in the country with the main focus on agriculture and gastronomic tourism.
For more information about Slow Food in Azerbaijan, please visit the Slow Food – COVCHEG website.