That's Meal, Ready to Eat, for you civilians out there. They're issued to military forces for field training exercises and missions, and are popular among preppers and outdoorsmen (and women) alike as emergency rations.
I've heard some mixed stories on them, some say that they're mega grody, others say that they're not bad. I've never heard anyone say that they'd like to live on them, but I haven't talked to everyone out there either. This is me going through what is in an MRE, and telling you straight up what it's like.
I was going to buy one at an Army surplus store in Colorado Springs, but my grandpa said that he had a few back at the house and that I could have one if I really wanted to try one.
Now, I am leaving for Basic Combat Training in a month so I'll eat an MRE sooner or later, but I have this thing where I get morbidly curious about things, so back at the house, I selected a package with "Menu No. 10 Chili and Macaroni" printed on the front. Said package contained:
-Oatmeal Cookie Bar
-Chili and Macaroni
-Cocoa Beverage Powder
-Spiced Cider Instant Apple Drink Mix
-Iced Tea Drink Mix (Natural Lemon Flavor)
-A tiny bottle of Tobasco sauce
-Other necessaries (wet towelette, matches, a spoon, a water activated heater, and what is most likely toilet paper)
This thing packs more than 1100 calories (not including the Tobasco, cider, and gum), which is fine for a soldier in the field burning tons of calories. For a girl laying around all day after a vacation, however, it's probably not the best idea to munch through that in one sitting.
Without further ado, I'll get to the critique, and put pictures at the end,in order of how I talk about them.
The first thing I tried was the Oatmeal Cookie Bar, which looked and felt pretty much like a bar of packed sawdust, but it actually tasted like a really good oatmeal cookie. I kind of want another one because I'm thinking about it.
The peaches were gross, no lie, but I just don't like peaches to begin with. Here's the thing though, unless its something that makes you really really sick, you're probably going to eat it when you're in the field or in a survival situation and you're eating for calories rather than enjoyment.
Then I tried the crackers and the jam. They tasted kind of like stale club crackers, but with the jam they were fine. The jam it was a little too sweet, and a little on the chunky side, but again not terrible.
Once I had eaten those,the heater had been working on the chili mac for about 15 minutes. The heater itself got really hot, but the good in the heater hadn't yet, so I ended up sticking the bowl in the microwave for around 15-30 seconds. This stuff is delicious. (I wouldn't eat it daily, but it definitely didn't taste like a non perishable pasta and meat sauce dish.)
The cocoa was like a typical cheapo store bought cocoa mix with no marshmallows.
The gum was super crunchy at first, but it had good flavor until it wore out about 5 seconds later.
The tea was blah. But I don't like most dehydrated tea mixes anyway (the only ones I tend to like are of the gen tea variety). Also, I question the need of the packaging company to inform the consumer that the lemon flavor is "natural". Pretty sure the suspicious quotation marks were on the package, too.
The apple cider mix smelled like something you would mix into wax, with a wick and burn it (meaning just a tad bit artificial, but still delicious, like one of those candles that make you hungry nomatter how recently you ate). It was pretty good, would have been better of it had been warmed to the right temperature, but my microwave had two settings for water heating - slightly warm and boil your face off - so I had to let it cool and left it too long.
Sorry, no pics for the actual cookie or the other 2 drink mixes (I deleted the first and forgot the others).
If I can get my hands on any more, I'll let you know what I thought (there won't be write do much detail, but I'll talkabout three stuff that is drastically different.
And now I've talked too much, place you to ponder these pics.