Eat Mesquite and More celebrates native food forests of the Sonoran Desert and beyond with over 170 recipes featuring wild, indigenous foods, including mesquite, acorn, barrel cactus, chiltepin, cholla, desert chia, desert herbs and flowers, desert ironwood, hackberry, palo verde, prickly pear, saguaro, wolfberry, and wild greens. The recipes—contributed by desert dwellers, harvesters, chefs, and innovators—capture a spirit of adventure and reverence inviting both newcomers and seasoned experts to try new foods and experiment with new flavors.
More than a cookbook, this guide also encourages a renaissance of “wild agriculture,” one that foregrounds the ethical harvesting and selection of wild foods and the re-planting of native food sources in urban and residential areas without imported water or fertilizers. It contains stories of significant individuals, organizations, and businesses that have contributed knowledge, products, and innovation in the planting, harvesting, and use of wild, native desert foods. Additional essays reveal the poetry of the foraging life, how to plant the rain, and medicinal uses and ethnobotanical histories of desert plants.
Many of the food plants included in this cookbook—or close relatives of them—can be found or grown in the other deserts and drylands of North America and South America. As such, this book becomes a template for harvesting and cooking throughout the Americas. Universally, its concepts and approach can help communities everywhere collaborate with their ecosystem, while enhancing the health of all.