Eat Mesquite and More
A Cookbook for Sonoran Desert Foods and Living
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.
Reviews and Praise
"After reading this recipe compilation, no one can say that a desert stands for 'nothing to eat.' For many centuries, indigenous peoples of the Sonoran Desert, that arid land surrounding the Gulf of California and stretching out of Mexico into Arizona, sustained themselves by foraging from the abundance of wild foods around them, such as pods from the mesquite tree and leaves from the prickly pear cactus. Barbecuers know mesquite from the excellent smoke its wood produces for outdoor grills. But for desert dwellers, the leguminous pods make nutritious, sweet, and gluten-free flour for breads and pancakes. Other cacti and other herbs offer still more culinary adventure, and these recipes exploit such wonders. A section on solar cooking reinforces this cuisine’s ecological benefits. The current craze for foods from foraged sources makes this book even more significant, but residents of the American Southwest with immediate access to desert bounty will derive the greatest value."
More Reviews and Praise
"A massive tome of amazing community wisdom of the abundant lands of the Sonoran Desert. Where you may see vast emptiness, Desert Harvesters will show you how to easily create a delicious desert banquet that feeds your body’s soul."–Rob Connoley, chef and James Beard semi-finalist, author of Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook
“I’ve been a huge fan of Desert Harvesters for years and this beautifully designed book is truly a must if you want to explore the culinary heritage and flavors of the Sonoran Desert.”–Pascal Baudar, author of The New Wildcrafted Cuisine and The Wildcrafting Brewer
“Eat Mesquite and More is a book of recipes and plant lore we may all really need someday, but it’s also a book to enjoy right now with its interesting blend of native desert plants and recipes keyed to our habitual tastes and new, adventurous tastes as well.” –Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and In My Kitchen
“This fantastic book will become the first reference for every forager in the Sonoran Desert region and a cherished manifesto even for those living far from the saguaro’s shadow.”–Samuel Thayer, author of The Forager’s Harvest, Nature’s Garden, and Incredible Wild Edibles
“We need to celebrate food, weaving it into every part of our being, our sense of place. Eat Mesquite and More helps us do that as it honors the plants (and a few animals!), the cultures, and this magnificent desert region. I love this book!”–Wendy C. Hodgson, author of Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert, and senior research botanist and herbarium curator, Desert Botanical Garden
“The recipes in this book will inspire residents of the Southwest desert regions (and beyond) to new uses for the wonderful flavors of mesquite, cacti, and other abundant indigenous plants.”–Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation
“[T]he definitive resource for Baja Arizonans who care about eating locally and caring for this place we call home.”–Megan Kimble, managing editor, and Doug Biggers, editor and publisher, Edible Baja Arizona magazine
“Chock full of interesting recipes, it showcases the creativity of so many cooks. Useful for both the experienced forager and beginners alike.”–Carolyn Niethammer, author of The Prickly Pear Cookbook and Cooking the Wild Southwest
“Eat Mesquite and More is a place-based guide to health and wellbeing that connects us to the bounty of the southwestern drylands.”–Daphne Miller, M.D., author of Farmacology and The Jungle Effect
“I can almost taste this book, one that brings to life the flavors of this magical land while honoring the cultural traditions of the region and advocating for regenerative land management practices.”–Courtney White, author of Grass, Soil, Hope and co-founder of the Quivira Coalition
About The Author
|Book Art:||Black & white photographs and illustrations throughout|
|Size:||8 x 10 inch|
|Pub. Date:||April 16, 2018|
Available In/Retail PricePaperback, 352 pages, $34.95
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