MRE Review Thread

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Klaus223
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MRE Review Thread

Post by Klaus223 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:15 pm

Decided to rotate out some of my older MRE's during a recent trip and thought I would share my experiences. First up, Veggie Lasagna!

Menu 11: Vegetarian Vegetable Lasagna. Date code indicates an early 2010 manufacture (although, of course, it could also mean 2000!)
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I may have kneaded the package a little too vigorously:
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The taste was actually pretty good. Reminded me of Chef Boyardee, although a bit spicier. Noodles were a bit mushy, but that may have been due to the kneading. The Tabasco sauce would have kicked it up a notch, but I saved that for another day. 7/10
My girlfriend slathered some on her Lembas Bread aka Wheat Snack Bread:
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She said it tasted just like a lunchable :)
The side dish was Mango Peach Applesauce
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We both agreed this was ridiculously sweet. I checked the label for added Maltodextrin (a la Zapplesauce) but nope. Even the dog didn't care for this one. 2/10.
The Dessert was a Spice Pound Cake. It had a pleasant nutmeg/allspice flavor and tasted like something Panera might offer during the Fall. Too bad MREs don't include Vanilla Chai Tea! :D The cake was slightly dry but it matched well with the Chocolate Hazelnut Cocoa. 8/10.
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Overall, a good MRE. The lasagna was a nice reminder of the canned pasta nights as a kid (ahem, or college student) and the spice cake was downright yummy! You'd have to be pretty hungry, or have a major sweet tooth to enjoy the mango peach applesauce, though. 7/10 Overall.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by DJH » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:29 pm

tagged for later additions.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Klaus223 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Hello Folks, here's my next MRE review: Spicy Penne Pasta with Vegetarian Sausage! Date code is early 2009.
Contents:
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I started with the "Cranberries, Osmotic" while the entree heated. The dried cranberries will be instantly familiar to anyone who has tried Craisins, although a bit drier, grittier, and not nearly as sweet. On the plus side, no sticky residue left on your hands after eating. This is a great snack to throw in your pocket and eat on the go. The 2oz pouch comes out to several large handfuls. I enjoyed them, but nothing to write home about.

Next, the entree.
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Spicy Penne is typically one of everyone's favorites. It has a great spicy, garlicy kick, and the "sausage" could fool even the most ardent meat lover. This is excellent on its own, although many will toss in the Salt-Free Seasoning Packet for good measure. This packet has some weird ingredients (see below) but it really adds some nice Italian flavor. No one is going to pass this off as gourmet Italian, but as far as shelf-stable pre-cooked meals, this is as good as it gets. A solid 9/10.

FYI the Seasoning Packet contains: Onion, Garlic, Spices (?), Carrot (!), Orange peel, parsley, tomato, red bell pepper, citric acid, soybean oil, Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, and Lemon Juice Solids.

Dessert:
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Dessert included a Marble Pound Cake with hot Spiced Apple Cider. The cake was pretty dry and chalky, but had an agreeable chocolate and vanilla flavor. Hints of soap. Not the best cake, but on par with what you'd find in a gas station/ convenience store. 5/10. Pretty hard to mess up spiced apple cider. Also tastes good cold. 7/10.

The meal also included Crackers, Peanut Butter and Orange Beverage Powder. These items were saved for a rainy day :)

Overall Thoughts: This is a kick ass entree- but the sides are just meh. 7/10. I paired it with a Murphy's Stout. May not be classy, but sure is yummy! :D
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Cerealkiller » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:07 pm

Nice can't wait to see more.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by DJH » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:01 pm

MRE Review: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Biscuit.

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Two separate reviews, although there's no reason one couldn't eat these together. Would work IMO. Hadn't had either one before, so I figured I'd try one out for lunch today to see what I'm getting into.

First off, the biscuits - Got a 130 pack carton of these from CTD. I'm rolling in MF biscuits.

Good thing they're not bad. buttery flavor, far better than I expected from a shelf stable bread. Good cold, haven't had one heated up yet. I'd say 7/10 easy. 250 calories, and these things are very filling.

The Spaghetti & Meat Sauce (12 pack case from CTD) I heated up using a standard flameless bag heater, after about 15 minutes I took it out, kneaded it for a minute or so, then tore it open and ate it out of the bag (sorry, forgot to take pics. But basically, think Chef Boyardee. As far as taste goes, it wasn't bad at all. If I had access to cooking gear and ingredients, I'd make my own, but for something out on the trail or emergency situation, I'd gladly eat these. A 7.5/10. Keep in mind this is just the entree, not a full meal type MRE pack. 180 calories. I do feel I could eat another one afterwards, not the most filling meal. This and the biscuit, I'd probably be good for hours.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Cerealkiller » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:58 pm

I wonder how those biscuits would be with the MRE Pork Sausage with Cream Gravy.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by ghost792 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Cerealkiller wrote:I wonder how those biscuits would be with the MRE Pork Sausage with Cream Gravy.
Supposedly epic.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Ryder358 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:12 am

Great reviews, I look forward to more.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by The Mrs. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:44 am

Dang. I didn't see this thread sooner. My brother and I started eating MREs since my Uncle from the US Marines introduced it to us when we were kids. It has changed since then, because they used to have tiny bottles of hot sauce included in almost each pack. Anyhoo, the MREs with me, we've already opened and consumed most of what's inside, but I looked for the packs and I still had four with some bread and desserts still inside. I'll just give my opinion on what I can remember eating.

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The beef with black beans, I didn't like so much. I think this one came with some Mexican rice that was too dry and gritty, in my opinion. It tasted like leftover rice that's been left in the fridge for some time, even after heating it up.

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Sloppy Joe, I liked a lot even if I didn't even heat it up. Ate it straight, as it is, and it still tasted good to me. It's probably my second favorite since the MRE corned beef hash that I remembered as a kid.

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The pork sausage, I liked too. It wasn't as great as the sloppy Joe, but it was more tolerable than the beef with black beans. The pork sausage had a smoked flavor to it and I think it came with some pasta with tomato sauce, which was also good.

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Chicken pesto is one of my favorite meals, so I was very disappointed when I tasted this one. I actually saved it for last because I thought it was going to be good. The pasta had a slightly bitter aftertaste, but it did have large chunks of chicken which I picked off and ate.

In the packs:
>wheat bread slices- I thought they were quite good. Packed tightly and very filling.
>cinnamon bun- It wasn't too sweet and I liked it.
>dried cranberries- Yum! Loved it.
>Cheese spread and peanut butter- I thought they were quite good on their own.
>biscuit- They pretty much tasted a lot like the bread.
>Apple sauce- A bit too sweet, to my taste.
The drinks I haven't tried yet.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Jeriah » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:17 am

I guess this is a good place to talk about my 710 calorie PB&J...

Zombie Con 2012. Saturday, the last full day, is the Float Trip. We get in canoes, float down a river, and halfway we stop on a sandbar to eat MRE's for lunch. ZS provides the MRE's, included with the event cost, and you get to fight over whatever comes in the box. It's never a problem for Steph and I, though, because we generally opt for the vegetarian options, which others aren't generally that interested in. Not that we're vegetarians, mind you. It's just that when Uncle Sam packs me some food-that-won't-die, I'd rather have something that isn't even pretending to be meat, rather than some mangled, chewed up piece of dead animal that's like a cross between roadkill and a chunk of tire. She picked the Vegetarian Lasagna, reviewed above, and says, "It was good."

I had the Veggie Burger in BBQ Sauce. I liked it, but bear in mind I'm used to veggie burgers. Been eating 'em my whole life. Didn't have a real burger til I was 21. (First burger was a lamb burger at a friend's backyard BBQ. Second burger was a few days later at In-N-Out on the way to Burning Man. Third burger was at V&N Burger Bar in Arcata, after returning from that same trip.) So it was nothing new or weird for me. It worked well with the sauce, and importantly, was good cold. It was hot out and I wasn't in the mood for hot food.

Then I made the 710 calorie PB&J. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I remember the total. It's two of those Wheat Snack Bread pieces, one packet of peanut butter, and since I didn't have any jelly, I used cranberry applesauce (came with the veggie burger). Total of 710 calories, heavy as fuck, and the applesauce didn't stick as well as jelly so it kept running out the sides, forcing me to lick it out of the sides as it leaked out in a very sexually suggestive manner. It was good, though. Not something I'd want to eat every day but I sure was full afterwards. Kept my First Strike bar and my "muffin top" dessert for later; never ate 'em so they ended up in my BOB.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by The Mrs. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:37 am

Couldn't even finish one bread. I feel like it expands to ten times its original size once it gets in my stomach. But it is surprisingly good bread for something designed to last for a long time. I liked the peanut butter too. :)
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Burncycle » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:26 am

I like the Chicken Fajita and the Cheese Tortillini, so I have probably 3-4 of each of those plus some random assorted ones I'll try some other time. My absolute favorite though is the MRE Crackers and cheese spread (jalapeno or bacon). I have a hard time trying to save them and not eating them lol


Chicken Fajita with Tortillas (2010)

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Looks like dog food... The flavoring is hard to describe but I like it, tastes pretty good. I would be ok with it even straight out of the pouch with no tortillas.

The tortillas taste good with the Fajita filling, but they fall apart, no burrito or even taco with these, food falls right out. Maybe if you moisturize it with water or something. Good thing I had a plate... if I was eating this outside and lost my chow on the ground I would have been really pissed.

If you like stripping down your MREs, you can carefully open up the top of the entree box, and slip in an MRE heater, moist towelette, drink mix (smaller store bought tubes of drink powder) and even the spoon and it all fits without the entree box bulging. In fact I slide the tortillas in with my fajita entree too and it only bulges the box just a little. Then tape the entree box closed and toss in a pack.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by DJH » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:40 pm

So those MRE Biscuits I wrote about above have gotten a new name (from sharing one Friday night on set.)

Camera guy took two bites, said "WTF did I just eat, a cannonball?" and started calling it "Lembas Bread."
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by jor-el » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:28 pm

Klaus223 wrote:Hello Folks, here's my next MRE review: Spicy Penne Pasta with Vegetarian Sausage! Date code is early 2009.
Contents:
Image

I started with the "Cranberries, Osmotic" while the entree heated. The dried cranberries will be instantly familiar to anyone who has tried Craisins, although a bit drier, grittier, and not nearly as sweet. On the plus side, no sticky residue left on your hands after eating. This is a great snack to throw in your pocket and eat on the go. The 2oz pouch comes out to several large handfuls. I enjoyed them, but nothing to write home about.

Next, the entree.
ImageImage
Spicy Penne is typically one of everyone's favorites. It has a great spicy, garlicy kick, and the "sausage" could fool even the most ardent meat lover. This is excellent on its own, although many will toss in the Salt-Free Seasoning Packet for good measure. This packet has some weird ingredients (see below) but it really adds some nice Italian flavor. No one is going to pass this off as gourmet Italian, but as far as shelf-stable pre-cooked meals, this is as good as it gets. A solid 9/10.

FYI the Seasoning Packet contains: Onion, Garlic, Spices (?), Carrot (!), Orange peel, parsley, tomato, red bell pepper, citric acid, soybean oil, Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, and Lemon Juice Solids.

Dessert:
Image
Dessert included a Marble Pound Cake with hot Spiced Apple Cider. The cake was pretty dry and chalky, but had an agreeable chocolate and vanilla flavor. Hints of soap. Not the best cake, but on par with what you'd find in a gas station/ convenience store. 5/10. Pretty hard to mess up spiced apple cider. Also tastes good cold. 7/10.

The meal also included Crackers, Peanut Butter and Orange Beverage Powder. These items were saved for a rainy day :)

Overall Thoughts: This is a kick ass entree- but the sides are just meh. 7/10. I paired it with a Murphy's Stout. May not be classy, but sure is yummy! :D
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Waitaminit.

You got BEER in your MREs? Where do you order for that?
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by tedbeau » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:23 am

Review of my first MRE.

Item, MRE Beans and Franks

My grandson's cub scout troop was invited to sleep overnight on the outfield of the minor league team near us. I decided to try one of the MRE's I have in My BOB since I have never tried one.

I selected the beans and franks over the beef noddle's thinking that it would be easier to get him to eat the hot dogs. This is an MRE that I believe was manufactured in the 90's. EDIT to add, I did some research and it appears this MRE was discontinued in 1987 or so) I picked up a few at a gun show a few year ago. The package was a dark brown, if that helps identify the series. It seems some of the reviews here appear to be a brighter yellow/ green packaging so I assume these are newer.

I opened the package and found one package with four hot dogs, one package of baked beans, a condiment pack, a spoon, a pack of crackers and a packet of apple jelly. There was also a fold out cardboard stand that I think was supposed to be used with a heater, but since there was no heater I didn't see the point.

I was disappointed in that there was no heater in the MRE, I don't know if they only include one in packets that can only be eaten warm or what.

Anyways I tried the hot dogs first, They were very mushy and salty. Edible, I guess since I did eat two. My grandson spit his out immediately and his mother took one bite of hers and said no thanks. She did say that if they were warmed up over a fire they might be better.

The beans were actually not to bad, a little dry, but the flavor was acceptable.

I didn't open the crackers or jelly, I am saving those for a snack or going to put them in my GHB in my truck.

In conclusion, hotdogs edible but not good, - beans, pretty good. I was hoping to get a chance to use the heater because I wanted to get experience using one before I really needed to use one.

Sorry I didn't think to take pictures.

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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Kommander » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:24 am

You actually ate a dark brown packaged MRE and lived to tell the tale? Looks like these things are good for decades after all.
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Re: MRE Review Thread

Post by Langenator » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:42 am

tedbeau wrote:Review of my first MRE.

Item, MRE Beans and Franks

My grandson's cub scout troop was invited to sleep overnight on the outfield of the minor league team near us. I decided to try one of the MRE's I have in My BOB since I have never tried one.

I selected the beans and franks over the beef noddle's thinking that it would be easier to get him to eat the hot dogs. This is an MRE that I believe was manufactured in the 90's. EDIT to add, I did some research and it appears this MRE was discontinued in 1987 or so) I picked up a few at a gun show a few year ago. The package was a dark brown, if that helps identify the series. It seems some of the reviews here appear to be a brighter yellow/ green packaging so I assume these are newer.

I opened the package and found one package with four hot dogs, one package of baked beans, a condiment pack, a spoon, a pack of crackers and a packet of apple jelly. There was also a fold out cardboard stand that I think was supposed to be used with a heater, but since there was no heater I didn't see the point.

I was disappointed in that there was no heater in the MRE, I don't know if they only include one in packets that can only be eaten warm or what.

Anyways I tried the hot dogs first, They were very mushy and salty. Edible, I guess since I did eat two. My grandson spit his out immediately and his mother took one bite of hers and said no thanks. She did say that if they were warmed up over a fire they might be better.

The beans were actually not to bad, a little dry, but the flavor was acceptable.

I didn't open the crackers or jelly, I am saving those for a snack or going to put them in my GHB in my truck.

In conclusion, hotdogs edible but not good, - beans, pretty good. I was hoping to get a chance to use the heater because I wanted to get experience using one before I really needed to use one.

Sorry I didn't think to take pictures.
I remember the dark brown MRE bags from when I was in ROTC, '92-'96. I think they transitioned to the tan bags after Desert Storm, but were still working through the stored supply of dark brown bags, especially with low priority groups like ROTC. I don't recall seeing anything but tan since I came on active duty summer of 1996.

I do recall the Beef Franks (aka the Four Fingers of Death), but I don't recall it coming with beans.

Spaghetti might well be the lone survivor of the original MRE menu options. My all time favorite was Pork Chow Mein, which I think was a second-generation menu option. I worked out well for me, because nobody else on my track liked it, so I didn't have to fight for it. Sadly, it is no longer an option.

I will note that, thanks to MREs, I can't use Tabasco sauce on food, because it just makes the food taste like an MRE. I was cooking myself an omlette in my room in the Qs in Germany, dumped in some Tabasco. Got a whiff a few seconds later and it hit me: it smelled like Omlette with Ham. (An much unfairly maligned MRE, IMO, at least if you had time to heat it and mix with the Potatoes.)

I have some out in the garage that are probably nearing their expiration date. Should probalby look at rotating the stock.
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