You may be surprised to learn that cactus is a staple food in certain parts of the world. One variety, Nopales (also know as Prickly Pear or Paddle Cactus) originated in Mexico and is almost synonymous with the Sonoran Desert but has adapted to locales as far reaching as Australia, Tunisia, and the Galapagos Islands.
For years I resisted cooking with this versatile food, preferring to feed it to my iguana (note: iguana LOVE nopales) before I faced my fear of the spiny thorns, thanks to a chef and about ten cases of cactus. You can read about that experience here. Both the paddles (leaves) and fruit of this plant are tasty. It is easy to try it yourself, just pick a method of preparation: juiced, jammed, brined, canned, sauteed, and, yes, grilled.