I thought the above link was insightful. It tells of the many things they can do with this plant in Africa. Apparently, they eat the leaves, too!
Just as a note, although the fruits are spiky, the plants themselves are more likely to scratch you as you harvest than the fruits are, IMO. Wear long sleeves and gloves if you don't want to risk being scratched.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet Profile post