1. Manoomin Rice
The Anishinaabeg people of northern Minnesota have been cultivating this rice, canoeing through the wetlands where it grows, and beating the stalks with their paddles for hundreds of years.
Though it’s called “wild rice,” it’s actually a grain similar to corn. Manoomin “tastes richly complex with subtle earthy notes of mushrooms and wood smoke,” according to the Ark of Taste website. It’s threatened by the rapid devastation of its natural habitat and by the spread of genetically modified seeds.
2. Navajo-Churro Sheep
North America’s oldest domesticated farm animal, these once numbered in the millions throughout the Southwest, particularly New Mexico.
By the 1970s, there were only 450 left, but they have enjoyed a comeback in recent decades. Prized by weavers for their vibrant coats, the Navajo-Churro also boast a lean, sweet gamy meat.
A Colonial-era drink made from fruit, vinegar and sugar that must be mixed with water to make it palatable. Shrub almost went extinct but was revived by the Tait family of farmers in rural Pennsylvania.
A new generation of mixologists have discovered Shrub and are mixing it with traditional liquors like rum and rye whiskey.
4. Narragansett Turkey
The quintessential American turkey, the Narragansett was once the foundation of the turkey industry in New England. As turkey production grew industrialized, the Narragansett fell out of favor, but it’s recently made a comeback as pasture-raised turkeys are gaining in popularity.
5. California Mission Olive
One of the few olive varieties unique to the United States, the Mission once grew abundantly in the orchards of Jesuit and Franciscan missions up and down California. In recent decades, some of its original groves have been restored, and the Mission is once again being enjoyed as a table olive and as a source of delicious, luxurious domestic olive oil.