Watch a chef try valiantly to make military MRE rations appear gourmet


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/21/watch-a-chef-try-valiantly-to.html


#2

Sometimes simple is best. The only good airline food I ever had was on Air France - a little bread, two kinds of cheese, I think maybe some olives, spring water. The plonk wine wasn’t bad either.


#3

Some do look nice, but most look like they smell and taste not so nice.

I’ve watched a number of MRE videos online and there’s actually a fair number of rations from foreign militaries that have really high quality delicious MREs. The American ones from what i’ve heard from service members is that they’re fairly boring, hot sauce goes a long way to making things more appetizing.


#4

Haute cuisine plating is bullshit.


#5

Exploring the bags is half the fun. I prefer Steve1989MREInfo’s presentation.


#6

I would agree, though considering they were trying to keep the food unadulterated the only thing they could do to “jazz” it up in this case is plating, unfortunately.

Edit: However the alternative is to cook with an electric coffee maker. I’ve posted this before actually, but service members are not allowed to have cooking appliances but usually having a coffee pot is ok. So as a work around people have learned how to cook with them


#7

That video would have been a lot more interesting if they had focused less on making the preparation look awesome and more on identifying the prepared meals by nationality and what they are alleged to be.


#8

Totally dating my self…but my spouse and I were explaining to our kids what MREs are just last week. We were discussing which were our faves and the ones we all dreaded.

Most people favored: Beef Stew (just like Dinty Moore), Corned Beef hash (again typical canned grocery store stuff), Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Meatballs, Beef n Rice in Tomato Sauce, and the Ham Slice. All were fairly typical fair.

Most people hated: Tuna with Noodles, Chicken ala king, Omelet with Ham, Potatoes with Ham.

My personal fave was the Omelet with Ham. No one ever wanted it, and it was one of the few that came with an oatmeal cookie bar. In the early to late 90’s there were only 12-16 meals and then when the 00’s hit they ramped up to a couple dozen choices.


#9


#10

The extent of my experience with this type of food is freeze dried food for camping. You can tell it has a lot of sodium in whatever you end up eating but a majority of what i had was pretty good, not sure how that compares to military MREs.


#11

#12

cheese and bread probably won’t keep so well, but pickles, kielbasa, some nice crackers and some schmear and you’re good to go.


#13

They actually phased out all freeze dried items by 1990 or so if I recall.

When I backpack I use a lot of soy milk and dried foods that simply need re-hydrating with water or the soy milk. I also like to bring small amounts of alcohol for flavoring and reconstituting things…like dried mushrooms and white wine.


#14

Yep! I actually developed my affinity for hot sauce by eating MREs.

Though they are not the most exquisite meal, during field operations, MREs were actually the more preferable meal option. The US Armed Services have mobile kitchen truck/tent things that they use for larger field ops. They are basically a series of chafing trays that are used to heat large (13 x 9ish) tin trays of preserved (dehydrated?) meals. The food is… horrifying. When I was in Ft Irwin, CA for the Army Warfighter Experiment the only breakfast option was this tent. Fortunately, it was also where they distributed your MRE rations for the day. They were unusually lax about handing them out so I would request extras just to have something palatable and to increase my odds of getting one of the “good” ones.


#15

I think i threw up a bit in my mouth.


#16

They could jazz up the MREs by going down the the supermarket and getting some of these:

Comes in a Canadian IMP-style retort bag. ~$2 CAN. There’s about 12 different vegetarian dishes, fills a bowl, shelf-life a year or two and they’re probably being conservative on that. Not hot, but loaded with real spices that leave a nice afterglow. I keep a stock in the cupboard for those “shit, what’s for dinner?” moments. Some pieces of frozen chicken, rice and one of these makes a quick but very good meal for two.

Keep a watch for something similar the next time you’re in the “world food” aisle, because your eyes will tend to glide over them unless you’re looking for them. (“Food in a box … what?”)


#17

Two words: travel iron.


#18

Coffee pot is likely more versatile since you can heat up water, make soups, etc but also directly use the heating element to cook or bake. Travel iron while usable i can’t imagine is any more convenient.


#19

MREs are good value, though: three lies for the price of one.


#20

The eggs were green. Like copper carbonate green. I attempted to eat them exactly once.