Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MRE Review: Menu #21 Chicken Tetrazzini

Yes indeed, boys and girls, it is that time of year again when I rotate out my emergency supplies. I have a new case of MRE's on the way, and am blowing out the old. Every one must go! (Down my gullet, that is).

Today's meal is Menu #21 from 2005, Chicken Tetrazzini (discontinued for 2006). This basically tastes like Grandma's chicken and noodles. It's sort of bland, but a dash of Tabasco makes up for that. Unfortunately, the extras pouch that comes with it doesn't have Tabasco in it. Use the one from your ravioli MRE (WTF is with putting Tabasco in the ravioli MRE anyhow? Not even this demented penguin puts Tabasco on ravioli!).

For the sides, it comes with the prerequisite MRE crackers, a yummy cookie, and the strawberry dairy shake, which tastes surprisingly good despite its rather... chemical... reputation. It also comes with a small package of strawberry jam. Strawberry jam? WTF?

As noted, this one disappeared for 2006, replaced by Chili Mac. Given that it tasted exactly like Menu 16, Chicken w/Noodles, probably good riddence. And Menu 16 comes with the little bottle of hot sauce needed to make it taste well. Still, if you're rotating out your MRE stock in preparation for a new batch of 2006 MRE's (or even, gasp, 2007 ones!), this one makes a quite tasty little meal.

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/20/2007 01:18:00 PM  


Having grown up in the "Days of Cs" (or maybe days of seizures) I do not know about Meals Ready to Excrete although I have heard of them.

Would you recommend a reliable vendor? Here in JEB!land we always have a need for dry stores in hurricane season.
# posted by Lurch : 20/3/07 3:24 PM  

I was just talking about your "restaurant reviews" the other day with the SigOt...

These are a blast to read!

Good luck.
# posted by TheCultureGhost : 20/3/07 3:51 PM  

Lurch, check eBay. Just follow a few rules. Always ask for the inspection data. No inspection data = no sale. Always check the feedback of the seller. Whether you do case A or case B depends on what you want, or get one of both, they're all good (I prefer case B myself, but others like case A). And don't overbid, let other suckers pay $100 for a case of MRE's, keep checking over the course of a week for MRE cases coming to bid end soon and you'll eventually land a case for $50 or less. At this point in time you should probably get a 2006 case (2009 inspect-by date), but if you intend to turn them over next year, you can get 2005 cases (2008 inspection date) for cheap.

TheCultureGhost, are you saying that my restaurant review of In-n-out's "Secret Menu" was somehow, uhm, quotable? Hmmm...

-Badtux the Culinary Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 20/3/07 4:19 PM  

Those sound a lot better than what we had, even after the Korean War stuff was finally used up.

Don't ever accept Air Force survival rations. The calories are there, but they don't stay down long enough to absorb them.

I stick to the canned stuff and keep a P-38 on my key ring for the season.
# posted by Bryan : 20/3/07 9:02 PM  

God! it sounds disgusting! sorry but yuck!
# posted by L>T : 20/3/07 9:29 PM  

I hope you're not talking about the MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat, military ration), L>T. They're actually quite tasty. Back in the day they were nasty and disgusting (the joke back in the early 90's was "Meals Refused by Ethiopians"), but the wizards at the Army Food Center have worked wonders in improving the taste and consistency. This meal in particular had large tasty chunks of chicken in it and tasted surprisingly good, though as a Cajun I naturally prefer it with a bit of Tabasco.

Now the Air Force survival rations.... err, I think I'll avoid those, thank you :-). I'm on the lookout for some Special Forces winter rations though. They're freeze-dried and thus much lighter than MRE's, and might be more useful for backpacking (MRE's are rather heavy).

-Badtux the Culinary Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 20/3/07 10:52 PM  

Aren't you talking about that stuff you get at Army Surplus?

I'm missing something here.
# posted by L>T : 21/3/07 12:31 AM  

Nope, L>T, MRE's, the military's "Meals Ready to Eat" as such are not sold at army surplus outlets, indeed on the box it says "illegal to sell." Only place I've ever found them is eBay, where soldiers sell them anyhow (note - soldiers are actually required to *buy* the MRE's that they use during training for field maneuvers and such, and understandably if they buy too many, want to sell the surplus regardless of the legality of doing so because they pay something like $70 per case for the things). The Army *never* surpluses MRE's. Rather, when they get past the "expire by", they distribute them as food aid in foreign countries or if the little red thingy has gone off, just discard them. Note that MRE's will last a decade or more, but after three years the taste and texture start to go downhill. Thus why I rotate my MRE's from time to time, getting rid of the old ones and buying fresh ones. Besides, it beats cooking and they ARE rather tasty!

-Badtux the MRE-eatin' Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 21/3/07 12:55 AM  

Now that you're back to doing the reviews, I'm going to have to link to you (and remember to update MY disaster preparedness posts).

And after reading about your work on the Silver Demon, whyncha come over for a beer one of these days?

And bring your tools....
# posted by andrew618 : 21/3/07 5:37 AM  

MREs are quite yummy. I used to keep a few in the office for those nasty winter days when I didn't want to have to go outside for lunch.

And, I just love those little bottles of Tabasco sauce!

# posted by Anonymous : 21/3/07 8:13 AM  

and interesting bit of MRE superstition came through "Generation Kill" which is an account of the marine recon unit franks described as "the tip of the spear."

if your MRE contains Charms candy you must, give it away to a civilian. fast. the marines have decided that charms candy are bad juju which must be given to a civilian pronto, preferably a kid.
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 21/3/07 11:12 AM  

Thanks for the info. I didn't know any of that.

I have a nephew going to Iraq soon I'll have to ask him about the food.
# posted by L>T : 21/3/07 11:38 AM  

My one MRE experience was in December 93. No wonder I did not like it. In Nam we had C's and LRP rations. The LRPs were freeze dried and mostly good although the pork and shrapnel LRP was as vile as the C ration ham and motherfuckers.
# posted by Rez Dog : 22/3/07 12:35 PM  

I tried MRE's back in the bad old days. I'll never forget the Beef Stew where they replaced the potatoes with lima beans. It went from pouch directly to garbage. Now I'd like to try them again. Is there a supplier where I can get a case of twelve with twelve different entrees? Anybody?
# posted by Anonymous : 6/4/07 6:15 PM  

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