Yes, it has taken me nine months to get up the courage to try them.
But they are good for 14 years, so really, that's not bad at all. ;)
Honestly, they probably would have sat on my shelf for another 13 years and three months had Brandon not gotten the call to go to training. See, he'll have to eat MREs at COT. They do a mock deployment exercise where they live in tents and set up a field hospital. During this period, and on other field exercise days, MREs are the only option for "food."
So, we decided we better break into one of the MREs to make sure he'll be able to stomach it. We couldn't bring ourselves to try the egg one yet, so we opened the chili.
We ordered ours as civilians. Supposedly, it is the exact same food as the military ones, just packaged a little differently for security reasons (although I have heard that the "real" MREs also come with laxative gum).
It came with:
- One package of vegetarian chili.
- One package of "bread."
- Peanut butter.
- Strawberry jam.
- One package of fig bars.
- Powdered strawberry lemonade.
- Two hard candies.
- Salt, pepper, a moist towelette, and packaged silverware.
I opened the "bread" and the fig bars while Brandon heated the chili. Yes, we ate off of a plate. I realize that's not the typical way of eating an MRE, but I try to keep things civilized when possible.
The bread was interesting. It didn't have the texture of bread at all. It was like a really thick poptart without any fruit filling or icing. Dry, gummy, and mildly sweet.
The peanut butter was regular creamy peanut butter.
The jam was intensely sweet-- it would have been fine with half the sugar, but was almost inedible as it was.
The fig bars were close to the kind of fig bars you would buy in a store, just a lot more dry.
In fact, "dry" is the word I would use to describe the entire meal. I only took a few bites, and it left me craving water. They are also VERY high calorie-- over 1,000 calories per meal. We split this one and still threw away half of it. The chili pack was only 230 calories. . . so most of the calories were coming from sugar, fat, and highly processed grains-- not exactly a healthy way of getting your daily calories.
Here's my grade:
A+ for convenience.
C for nutrition (for daily living, I would rate them an F for nutrition. But since their intended purpose is to supply valuable calories to soldiers who are expending a lot of energy in the field, I give them some credit for achieving that goal).
C+ for taste (way better than we expected, but not something we would eat for fun).
I'll let you know when we try the breakfast meal. The eggs terrify me, but I'm definitely curious to try the french toast. . .