A low-slung, leguminous hardwood tree that grows wild throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The wood is often used in barbecuing and smoking foods, giving off a slightly sweet smoke. Mesquite is a relative of beans, peas, carob, peanuts, honey locust and other legumes, and mesquite beans are also edible (and very sweet), though they typically must be ground into meal or flour for use, typically in breads, preserves, pastries or desserts.

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