navigation

Ark of TasteArk of Taste

This catalog lists all of the varied and wonderful foods in the USA that are currently on the Ark of Taste.

Ark of Taste - Grow Share Preserve Explore

You can search the catalog by...

Name

Foods are listed alphabetically by the most common name used for them. In some cases the scientific name and other common names can be found in the full description of an item.

Product Type

Find beverages, poultry, breads, fish, fruits and more by using this sort option.

Region

Foods on the Ark have strong cultural and regional connections. Search your region to find which items have a history where you live.

New England

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island

Alewife River Herring

Alosa pseudoharengus

View

The Alewife River Herring revitalized a tired palate and restored vigor to people in the Northeast during April and May for hundreds of years.

read more...


Algonquian Squash

Cucurbita pepo

View

The Algonquian squash (or pumpkin) originated in New England and was grown by the Abenaki people of Maine, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts. Algonquian pumpkin was among the foodstuffs Lewis and Clark traded for with the Mandan Indians circa 1804-1806.

This oblong-shaped squash should be...

read more...


American Chestnut

Castanea dentata

View

Nearly a century ago, the American Chestnut tree was ubiquitous among the hilly slopes of the eastern US. So grand in stature?often towering near 100 feet?and successful in procreation, it was estimated that one if four trees in the Appalachian forests was an American Chestnut. The nut from...

read more...


American Milking Devon Cattle

View

In 1623 the first Milking Devon were brought to Massachusetts from North Devonshire, England. In England, these cattle were highly valued for their production of both high quality beef and rich milk used in Devonshire cream. In additon, they had a reputation as being very hardy and able to...

read more...


American Spice Bush

Lindera benzoin

View

The American Spice Bush is a flowering plant native to Eastern North America; from the Atlantic to Kansas, northern Florida to Ontario. It is historically prevalent in the Ohio Valley. The plant consists of a small deciduous tree or shrub, up to 16 feet tall, found in the understory of moist thickets and forests. The plant gives a small fruit, a red berry-like drupe, boasting a pronounced, especially spicy flavor.

read more...


Apios Americana

View

The pods can be steamed and prepared as any shelled bean, which was the form savored by the Cherokee. Alternately, they were roasted, boiled, dried and ground into a thickening powder for stews. According to forager Hank Shaw, “At first taste, they are remarkably close to floury potatoes like Russets. The tuber is a little drier than a potato, quite a bit sweeter — but nothing like a sweet potato. There is a wholesomeness to the flavor, perhaps betokening the abundance of protein contained (3 times that of a standard crop potato).”

read more...


Atlantic Sturgeon

Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus

View

“The Atlantic sturgeon is a long-lived, estuarine dependent, anadromous fish. Atlantic sturgeon can grow to approximately 14 feet (4.3 m) long and can weigh up to 800 lbs (370 kg). They are bluish-black or olive brown dorsally (on their back) with paler sides and a white belly. They have five major rows of dermal "scutes". They are distinguished by armor-like plates and a long protruding snout that is ventrally located, with four barbels crossing in front.

read more...


Bay Scallop

View

The geographical range of the bay scallop is from Cape Cod south along the Atlantic Coast and then throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Bay scallops are harvested commercially with drags from small boats during the season, which usually lasts from November to March. Fresh local bay scallops are...

read more...


Boiled Cider and Cider Jelly of New England

View

Boiled cider and cider jelly are traditional New England farm-based products made solely from the concentration/reduction of fresh, unfermented cider. Despite their deep historical and cultural roots in rural New England, these products (especially boiled cider) are little known today, even in...

read more...


Boston Marrow Squash

Cucurbita Maxima

View

This lovely, mid-size winter squash has a custard-like, buttery flavor with almost 200 years of documented history, though possibly of prehistoric origin. It reaches maturity in 90 to 100 days and has striking, reddish orange skin and an average weight of 10 to 20 pounds, though it can be...

read more...


Canada Crookneck Squash

Cucurbita moschata (sometimes listed as Cucurbita pepo)

View

The Canada Crookneck Squash is a bottle-shaped winter squash with a curved neck weighing between two and four pounds. When ready for harvest, the squash’s smooth, relatively thin skin will be a creamy yellow color that darkens in storage. The interior flesh is has a wonderfully creamy texture...

read more...


Dominique Chicken

View

While the Dominique chicken breed looks similar to the Plymouth Rock breed—both have black and white barring over the entire body—the former is a moderate sized bird with a distinguishing rose comb (the comb is flat and flower-like). The Dominique’s heavy plumage protects the bird in...

read more...


Early Blood Turnip-Rooted Beet

Beta vulgaris

View

This is one of the oldest surviving varieties of table beet, having been introduced in America by 1820. One of the most popular beets of the 1800s in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, it is an all-purpose variety, round root 4 to 4.5 inches in diameter with 48 to 68 days to maturity from...

read more...


Early Rose Potato

View

The Early Rose potato is a variety developed by Charles Blackmer and grown by Albert Bresee of Hubbardton, Vermont. The potato has tall green vines that develop white flowers when in bloom. The tubers are large and have an edible pink skin. The flesh is smooth and white in color with streaks of red. The Early Rose is a perennial potato grown as an annual crop.

read more...


Eastern Red Cedar Berries

View

The Eastern Red Cedar is an indigenous tree to North America. It is not a true cedar but rather an evergreen juniper that grows in a range of soils and can tolerate adverse conditions. The tree can endure occasional flooding as well as drought. The Eastern Red Cedar is referred to as a pioneer species, which means it can be the first tree to repopulate cleared, eroded, or damaged land.

read more...


Gallberry Honey

Ilex Glabra

View

Gallberry honey is sourced from a small evergreen holly bush (also known as inkberry) that grows along the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast and produces a unique honey that is popular throughout the piney woods and swamps of southeast Florida.



It is desirable for the rich, elegant taste and is...

read more...


Garnet Chili Potato

Solunum tubersum

View

By 1853, the Garnet Chili Potato was the preferred New England variety due to hardiness, prolific growth and disease resistance. DNA fingerprinting has shown the Garnet Chili potato to be the mother of no less than 150 varieties of potato grown in the 21st century in America and Europe.

read more...


Gilfeather Turnip

View

The Gilfeather is an egg-shaped, rough-skinned root, but unlike its cousins, it has a mild taste that becomes sweet and a creamy white color after the first frost. While the hardy Gilfeather turnip does well in nearly any climate, this touch of frost contributes to its unusual taste and texture....

read more...


Granite Beauty Apple

Malus pumila

View

The Granite Beauty apple, a large fruit about four inches in diameter, has a roundish shape that is slightly oblique at each end. Its surface is irregular and appears slightly hammered or “peened,” and it has a somewhat greasy or waxy feel. The skin is golden yellow, splashed, striped or...

read more...


Green Mountain Potato

View

Orson H. Alexander, a researcher from the University of Vermont first introduced the Green Mountain potato as the answer to the US potato blight of the 1840s. The Green Mountain is a hardy, resistant, late-season variety. For nearly fifty years following its introduction, the Green Mountain...

read more...


Harrison Cider Apple

Malus pumila

View

Photo courtesy of Ben Watson
The Harrison apple originated in Essex County, New Jersey in the early 19th century and was grown extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern United States until about 1900. The early fruit writer William Coxe described the Harrison as the “the most...

read more...


Jacob’s Cattle Bean

Phaseolus Vulgaris

View

This bean is a Prince Edward Island heirloom. Legend has it that it was a gift from Maine’s Passamaquoddy Indians to Joseph Clark, the first white child born in Lubec, Maine.

It is a plump, white and red speckled, kidney-shaped bean with vivid maroon splashes. It is full-flavored, holds its...

read more...


Java Chicken

View

The Java is considered the second oldest breed of chicken developed in America. Its ancestors were reputed to have come from the Far East, possibly from the isle of Java. Sources differ on the time of origin of the Java. But they were known to be in existence in America sometime between 1835 and...

read more...


King Philip Corn

Zea Mays

View

King Philip Corn is a landrace variety of corn grown by the Wampanoag Native American community. Cultivated for centuries in the New England area, King Phillip Corn was once considered a far superior corn, however cultivation has drastically slowed due to the industrialization of corn production. The extinction of this historic variety would mean the loss of not only a delicious variety of corn, but a major part of Wampanoag culture.

read more...


Livingston’s Golden Queen Tomato

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

View

Livingston’s Golden Queen tomato is a pale yellow medium-sized fruit that develops a pink blush on the bottom when ripe. According to Livingston, he examined a very pretty yellow tomato at a county fair. The grower gave him one and he took special care to preserve, test and improve it. After a...

read more...


Mangel-wurzel

View

The mangel-wurzel is a rare beet developed in the 18th century as a fodder crop for feeding livestock, and when harvested young, makes for an excellent source of nutrition for the farmer. The German name “mangel” translates to beet, and “wurzel” means root. The mangel-wurzel is closely related to Swiss chard and sugar beets. In the wild, the beet produces edible chard-like leaves. The root grows in an array of colors including white, pink, red, orange, golden, and purple or black.

read more...


Mayflower Bean

View

The Mayflower arrived in the US in the 1620s, bringing with it the Mayflower bean. After its initial introduction to the Americas, the bean was widely circulated among the people of the Carolina region of the country. The Mayflower plant has short pods that hold the small, square shaped beans....

read more...


Narragansett Turkey

View

The Narragansett turkey is named for Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It descends from a cross between native Eastern Wild turkeys and domestic turkeys brought by English and European colonists. Improved and standardized for production qualities, the Narragansett was the foundation of the...

read more...


New Hampshire Chicken

View

The New Hampshire Chicken is a bird with a deep, broad body. It is medium in weight making it a plump roasting bird and has yellow skin and medium to light red feathers. The bird produces actively brown eggs.

The New Hampshire was bred from the Rhode Island Red Chicken and selected...

read more...


Northern Quahog

View

The Northern Quahog is a bivalve marine mollusk that burrows in shallow mud or sand sediment. Its natural range is along the east coast of North America from Prince Edward Island to the Yucatan Peninsula. The quahog has a fairly large, heavy, thick shell with elevated hinges on the narrow end. The color ranges from pale brown to shades of gray white.

read more...


Pawpaw

Asimina triloba

View

Though the pawpaw is generally unknown to the American public, it is the largest edible fruit native to the US. The fruit is indigenous to 26 states from northern Florida to Maine and west to Nebraska. Fossil records indicate that the papaw’s forebears established themselves in North America...

read more...


Plymouth Rock Chicken

View

As a hardy, docile, broody and excellent producer of both meat and eggs, which it lays year-round, the Plymouth Rock Chicken is a quintessential American breed. This bird was developed in the mid-19th century as a dual-purpose chicken. The chicken has yellow skin and lays eggs that are...

read more...


Randall Cattle

View

The Randall or Randall Lineback cow is a purebred remnant of lineback-patterned cattle once common in New England. Though the origins of the breed are not clear, it is likely to have originated in New England from a combination of Dutch, English and French cattle. Historically, they were...

read more...


Red Mulberry

View

The Red Mulberry tree is native to the eastern United States. It is a medium sized deciduous variety that can grow to between 35-50 ft tall. Its flowers are small and yellowish green in color, blooming only in late spring.

read more...


Rhode Island Red Chicken, "Old-Type"

View

The rich, reddish-black plumage and red comb of the “Old-Type” Rhode Island Red chicken is an iconic symbol of American agriculture. It is a successful dual-purpose bird, and an excellent-tempered farm chicken. These birds are very good layers of brown eggs, perhaps the best layers of all the...

read more...


Roy’s Calais flint corn

Zea mays

View

Roy’s Calais flint corn is an open-pollinated flint corn originally cultivated by the western Abenaki (Sokoki) people in Vermont, and subsequently grown and maintained by pioneer farmers, including Roy and Ruth Fair of North Calais, VT. In 1996 Tom Stearns obtained the seed from local farmers...

read more...


Shrub

View

Shrub is a colonial-day drink whose name is derived from the Arabic word sharab, to drink. It is a concentrated syrup made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar that is traditionally mixed with water to create a refreshing drink that is simultaneously tart and sweet. In the nineteenth-century, the...

read more...


Sourwood Honey

Oxydendrum arboreum

View

Most honey is made by bees. But sourwood is made by bees and angels. – Carson Brewer, writer



Sourwood honey is so rare that a good crop sometimes only surfaces once every decade. Yet, its deep, spicy flavor makes it sought after by honey connoisseurs everywhere. The honey’s scarcity can...

read more...


Switchel

View

Popularized in the United States by the Shaker communities of the Northeast, switchel can be made by mixing water with apple cider vinegar, ginger, and natural sweeteners. Honey, maple syrup or molasses were the most frequent additions. Another variation calls for oatmeal and blackstrap molasses to offset the drink’s tangy acidity. Upon first taste, switchel is interestingly different. With additional sips the taste becomes gradually more pleasing on the palate. Some describe the sweet-yet-spicy flavor profile as similar to Kombucha.

read more...


True Red Cranberry Bean

View

The Red Cranberry bean is one of the oldest American bean varieties. Its geographical location is concentrated around the northeastern region of the US. The Abnaki Indians and woodsmen, who inhabited the area that is now known as Maine, historically used this bean. The Red Cranberry bean is a...

read more...


Tunis Sheep

View

In 1799, the Tunis sheep’s ancestors arrived in the United States from North Africa. These sheep are often described as “fat-tailed,” and “barbary” and were highly regarded by a slew of prominent Americans such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Judge Richard Peters, and George Washington....

read more...


Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat

Triticum aestivum

View

As the name suggests, ‘Turkey’ Hard Red Winter Wheat is a tall, winter hardy cultivar, grown in the Great Plains. This wheat variety has a unique, rich, and complex flavor and excellent baking qualities. Production methods used are nearly identical to those used for other hard winter...

read more...


Wellfleet Oyster

View

The Wellfleet Oyster is a bivalve marine mollusk that originated in Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod, MA.

read more...


White Cap Flint Corn

Zea Mays v. White Cap

View

White Cap Flint Corn is a quick growing crop, averaging 110 days to ripen, and the traditional yield ranging from 50 to 60 bushels per acre. Originally a landrace flint corn cultivated by the Narragansett Indians, White Cap Flint was adopted during the 17th century by Rhode Island settlers for milling and for fodder.

read more...


Wild Ramps

Allium tricoccum

View

Wild ramp, is a wild onion with a pungent garlic odor and leek/onion flavor. It is found in Eastern North America from South Carolina to Canada.

read more...


connect

get the latest news on the Slow Food movement.

×




top