A few weeks ago I visited my cousins for a night. We hung out, had some food, chatted, played some games. Then back at their place they showed me a case of MREs they received back when Hurricane Ike struck the area. I had never seen one in person before, so we opened one up to look at the various things it comes with.
Pics of the contents, and the cooked meal, can be seen by clicking the thumbnail image here or this link.
Containing roughly 1,100 calories, this rare delicacy contained a beef enchilada, refried beans, Nesté instant coffee, an M&M cookie, non-dairy creamer, sugar, crushed red pepper, two vegetable crackers, picante sauce, cheese spread, gum, napkin, spoon, matches, “beverage base power orange” (a.k.a., Tang), and various other things. My cousins generously gave me this one, and I made it my goal to cook one up and post about it here.
About a week later, I decided I didn’t want to make real food for dinner, so I brought out the MRE. Now for those of you that don’t know how these modern-day, military-issue rations work, there is a bag that contains a heating element which is activated by adding water to it. So you get your sealed, hot-food items–in this case, the enchilada, refried beans and hot water for coffee–and stick them in this bag one at a time. Add a little bit of water, let them cook for about 10 – 15 minutes at a time, and serve.
Of note are the awful fumes the heating element gives out. I’m sure it could make you sick if you inhaled them. Trust me, I inhaled some of my own, and it was pretty fucking bad.
So I served up the meal, took pics and ate it. I must say that the cookie, coffee and refried beans were the best part. Oh, and the picante sauce. The enchilada was sub-par. Think cafeteria food, but worse. And that cheese spread? I’m convinced that stuff is not from this earth. Perhaps heating that up too could’ve remedied it’s god-awfulness, but I’m not so sure.
Conclusion: I can’t see anyone eating this for enjoyment, but I can see how it’d be helpful for camping, hiking or consuming during a time of war.