September 16, 2002 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE)
Developed by the Wornick Corporation together with the DoD Combat Feeding Program, it has been a mainstay of the US Army since it replaced C-Rations in the 1980s. In recent years, the menu has been evolving. (whither Omelet w/ Ham?) Still interested? Read the taste tests and shop for MREs. Also check out the other products coming soon to a battlefield near you (hmmm... Shelf Stable Pocket Sandwiches)
posted by patrickje (38 comments total)
Do MRE's also come with P38's like C-Rations did? P38s: Best. Tool. Ever.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:57 PM on September 16, 2002

That omelet and ham MRE is always the last one left in the box. I never found a person who could actually eat the whole thing.

That said, the spreadable cheese that comes in some is delicious. I horded that stuff and still even have a few packets lying around.

The heating element can make some fantastic pop-bottle bombs.
posted by ttrendel at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2002

A buddy of mine in the military gave me a "Cheese tortellini (Vegetarian) 1996" to eat in the employee lounge at lunchtime one day. Everyone stood around me like a scene from "Quest for Fire" as I rigged up the enclosed chemical reaction based heating unit. It really wasn't much worse than a frozen dinner. A word of warning to the curious. It is advantageous to not have to take a crap on the battlefield. Enough said.
posted by machaus at 2:04 PM on September 16, 2002

Omelet w/ Ham was my fave...I loved mashing it up with one of those mini bottles of Tabasco.
posted by patrickje at 2:05 PM on September 16, 2002

Oh, and MRE's don't come with p38's since they're all in tearable bags. I believe that T-rats still come with them though.
posted by ttrendel at 2:05 PM on September 16, 2002

No, now the peanut butter comes in a sealed pouches, that you rip open.... Stay away from the peanut Butter if you want a bowel movement that month. I personally, always went for the vegetarian RME, even though I am not a one.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:05 PM on September 16, 2002

errr MRE....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:06 PM on September 16, 2002

That would make you a very sick man then, patrickje. I'll take the spaghetti or corned beef hash.
posted by ttrendel at 2:07 PM on September 16, 2002

The sawdust bars!! Those will stop you up real good!
posted by kileregreen at 2:15 PM on September 16, 2002

Stay the fuck away from the Burrito!
posted by car_bomb at 2:18 PM on September 16, 2002

Boot Camp: being told to pour powdered coffee and powdered cream into our mouths and then told to take a drink of water and mix it in our mouths.

Coffee in the field.
posted by geekyguy at 2:43 PM on September 16, 2002


What do I do with these pictures?

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:45 PM on September 16, 2002

car_bomb - Thank you. That was the most fun I've had all day. I think I'll have burritos for dinner.
posted by brownpau at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2002

Oh, God, I will never get the image of that Ham and Cheese pita out of my mind. It looks faintly like . . . well, I suppose I'll keep that to myself.
posted by Zosia Blue at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2002

My dad had a bunch of K-Rations on the boat when I was a kid. On cruises we would break out some dried hamburger-steak and try to reconstitute it in hot water to eat with navy beans. Filling and marginally palatable, but nothing remarkable.

Has anyone tried the astronaut ice cream at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum store yet? Is it worth the $3.50?
posted by brownpau at 2:58 PM on September 16, 2002

Good Heavens, they have a bunch of these on the sub in case a hurricane hits and we have to survive for a few days. Woe to he who is trapped on that boat. (please God, don't make it on my watch.)
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:04 PM on September 16, 2002

join us...
posted by car_bomb at 3:10 PM on September 16, 2002

Having subsisted on mostly MREs for the better part of six months (Desert Storm), I can say that they aren't bad. The annoying thing would be supply dropping cases of MREs off for the day at the command vehicle, and by the time I get back there someone has ripped open all the MREs and taken all the %&!$ M&Ms. That's OK, there was always leftover sweet, sweet Omelet w/ Ham.
posted by patrickje at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2002

Well, after Ranger school every MRE was my favorite MRE. I loved going to the supply room just to be surrounded by cases of 'em.

Try the Ranger School Diet yourself!
posted by mtstover at 3:20 PM on September 16, 2002

It's only a matter of time until MRE and this site join forces.(I'll never eat ham n cheese again).
posted by zenpop at 3:25 PM on September 16, 2002

Astronaut ice cream is something else - I liked it enough as a kid (got it from the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center), but I'm not sure I'd put it in my mouth these many years later. The neopolitan is the one I remember; there may have been others. Basically, they're completely dry, then as you chew them the consistency goes to something akin to thick, warm, chunky cream.
posted by risenc at 3:46 PM on September 16, 2002

my husband bought some mres at a yard sale once.. the tabasco bottles are cute (even if I hate tabasco).

Does anyone remember the sadistic and politically incorrect "joke" stating that MRE stood for "Meals Refused by Ethiopians"?
posted by konolia at 3:55 PM on September 16, 2002

If you want to try them for yourself, there are always MREs for sale at ebay.
posted by captain obvious at 4:31 PM on September 16, 2002

I do agree with Steve_at_Linnwood about the peanut butter. It will seal you shut like super glue. Also there is a reason Uncle Sam sneaks a tabasco bottle into each meal :-). All in all though they are good eats.
posted by kyleebrock at 4:33 PM on September 16, 2002

Oh, God, I will never get the image of that Ham and Cheese pita out of my mind. It looks faintly like . . . well, I suppose I'll keep that to myself

Ha ha! Sometimes, though, a ham and cheese pita is just a ham and cheese pita.
posted by HTuttle at 5:03 PM on September 16, 2002

the thing about MREs is they are loaded with calories... when you are sitting at a desk all day in front of the PC CRT, do you need a MRE?
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 5:08 PM on September 16, 2002

if for some freako reason you want to purchase an MRE and know someone in the military - they sell them on base in the commissary
posted by euphrosyne at 5:09 PM on September 16, 2002

OK, I'm still stuck on those school-lunch photos... Yes, the Beef Teriyaki does Bite! And, Cheese Stuffed Shells — I dare you! Finally, the most disappointing possible lunch: the Italian Dunker.
posted by nicwolff at 5:23 PM on September 16, 2002

I love the Jamaican Pork Chop. I bought a case of those, and I eat them for breakfast and lunch when I feel really lazy.

mmmm. pork chop....
posted by meep at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2002

They also have Kosher (for Jewish) and Halal (for Muslim) MREs, which are far better than the standard MRE. As a Chaplain Assistant, I had access to those...but since we didn't have any Jewish or Muslim soldiers in my unit... (munch, munch, munch)
posted by TheFarSeid at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2002

Finally, the most disappointing possible lunch: the Italian Dunker.

Hahaha! My first thought was, "What the...? It's a frigging piece of WHITE TOAST cut into strips with a cup of tomato sauce and a piece of string cheese!!"
posted by Danelope at 6:02 PM on September 16, 2002

Mmmm, Cherry Nut Cake and Maple Nut Cake...I'm a Dessert Storm (not a typo) Veteran, that's all I ate!
posted by m@ at 6:23 PM on September 16, 2002

WolfDaddy: I don't know if MRE's have P38's, but you can get them here at REI. As you said, it's the best can opener out there.
posted by lasm at 7:50 PM on September 16, 2002

One vote here for the dreaded pork patty entreƩ. And a hearty second to the cherry nut cake. Mmmm.
posted by alumshubby at 7:58 PM on September 16, 2002

Back in high school, one of my teachers was in the guard. On a field trip in the North Dakota badlands, he brought a sampling of MREs, mainly as a dare to people. I tried one (spaghetti) and was left with this thought: You know, this is better than school food.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:05 PM on September 16, 2002

The philosophy behind all of these is that they both seal you up and open you out thus creating a nice natural rhythmn for your, er, movements. Anyone who's had biscuits brown from UK ratpacks will know all about that.
posted by nedrichards at 2:09 AM on September 17, 2002

6) The Accessory Pack: moist towelette, salt, sugar, coffee pouch, plastic spoon, toilet paper, 1/8 ounce Tabasco sauce, creamer, matches. And Chiclets.

I love the fact that toilet paper is a meal accessory...sooner or later, I guess.

And that Beef teriyaki school comes with a biscuit...yeah nuthin says Japanese like a big ole buttermilk biscuit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:17 PM on September 17, 2002

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