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.

Monday, March 26, 2007

MRE Review: Menu #22 Jambalaya

This is off the 2004 menu, thus why I am eating it (taste and nutrition of MRE's goes downhill after 3 years).

Entre': Jambalaya. This had nice chunks of high-quality ham and shrimp in it. I added in the little bottom of Tabasco and ate it with the MRE crackers and it was quite tasty.

An aside on MRE crackers: These are one of the wonders of the universe. How the wizards of Natick could manage to make a cracker that will survive anything short of a nuclear blast without becoming crumbles is one of those testaments to old-fashioned American know-how that are rare nowdays. They aren't the tastiest crackers around -- they have to be sort of heavy and dense to both a) provide calories to meet MRE calorie requirements and b) be able to survive being dropped 50 feet from a hovering helicopter -- but they are definitely edible and tasty enough after you've been slogging for miles with a pack on your back and are hungry enough to eat a horse, hooves and all.

MRE Bread and Jalapeno Cheese spread -- I've mentioned MRE bread before, which is more a soft dense wheat cookie than anything that you might think of as "bread" due to shelf life and durability requirements. But this makes a nice little meal all in and of itself. Just knead the cheese spread tube until it's soft, snip open the end with the scissors on your pocket knife (note: If you do not have a pocket knife with scissors in it, *get one*, very very handy!), squirt out on "bread", enjoy!

Pound cake: This is good in and of itself. Soft, moist (if a bit dense), little pieces of carrot and fruit. But if you had one of those MRE meals like Menu 16 (Chicken w/Noodles) that inexplicably included peanut butter despite having nothing that would taste good with peanut butter on it, this is a good target for your leftover peanut butter.

Candy - just your commercial Skittles package.

In later years they deleted the candy, cheese spread and crackers and replaced them with the MRE Dairy Shake, which is quite good (albeit a bit lumpy even with a full two minutes of vigorous shaking). The MRE bread tastes okay in place of the crackers as something to eat with the Jambalaya, so I suppose it all works out, you still end up with basically two "meals" (the dairy shake vs. the bread+cheese, and the entre').

All in all, I have to rate this one a winner, whether it's the 2004 version or the later versions. Alas, it appears this one was discontinued for 2007 to make room for "Meatballs with Marinari". Whoa, sounds like the round balls of death circa 1993 the "four fingers of death" ("smoky frankfurters"). Definitely *not* a substitution that I think I'm going to enjoy, but (shrug). If you get dropped old stock for disaster relief, this is definitely one to keep rather than trade.

-- Badtux the Disaster Chef Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/26/2007 12:49:00 PM  


I was on active duty in 1985 when our supply Lt discovered some C-rats in our storage facility. He gave us two 'em, or catalog them into inventory and use 'em on the next deployment. Needless to say, we ate them to save work and to be closer to a medical facility if such was needed afterwards. I had scrambled eggs that were older than I was.....they were not too bad, as long as you ignored the sulfur odor.
# posted by Marc : 26/3/07 9:18 PM  

Oh, no, Marc, not the green eggs and green ham! Actually, not bad if you left them on top of a tin roof until noon.

I think they are going to start phasing out pork products because of "religious sensitivity", which is a major loss because ham and bacon have real longevity.

If you ever run across the "cereal bars", try them. Mostly graham cracker in taste, but they are filling.
# posted by Bryan : 26/3/07 9:34 PM  

Oh man, that "phasing out pork" thingy may be why jambalaya got replaced with the Brilliant Red Meatballs of Death. Sigh. The jambalaya was (is?) good stuff. Tastes like New Orleans. Back before New Orleans was destroyed by defective levees. Sigh. Guess I have to hurry up and get a few crates of the '06 MRE's before they're all eaten...

- Badtux the Disappointed Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 26/3/07 10:19 PM  

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