Tuesday, February 28, 2006

MRE Reviews, continued

Today's menu is #21, Chicken Tetrazini.

You open up the packet, and here is what you see (other than the flameless heater and spoon that come with them all):

  • One packet Chicken Tetrazini
  • Pouch of strawberry jam
  • Molasses cookie
  • MRE Crackers (I *still* can't figure how they keep their crackers from turning into crumbles!).
  • An accessory packet with "Seasoning Blend Salt Free", apple cider mix, iced tea mix, then the standard stuff.
  • A *BIG* pouch entitled "Dairy Shake, Vanilla".
The first thing I did was heat up and decant the Chicken Tetrazini. Sniffing at it, it smelled sort of like mushroom soup and pasta and chicken. That's pretty much what it tasted like, too. It was, alas, rather bland. I opened up the seasoning mix and tried a little of that, but it was rather bitter -- almost Indian curry powder bitter but without the heat (India Indian, not Native American Indian). Bleh. But still, it was quite filling, especially eaten with the crackers. I rate it about a 5 out of 10 -- edible, filling, no faults, but no real reason to go out of your way to eat it either. But this is one you definitely want to use the heater with, it'd be really disgusting cold. Although CatTux gave it his seal of approval -- usually CatTux turns his nose up at people food (he feels that people food is beneath his dignity), but CatTux decided to lick the plate clean for me this time.

The next thing I tried was the molassas cookie. This was really, really sweet. *REALLY* sweet. Almost unbearably sweet. So sweet that I opened up the strawberry jam and topped the cookie with the jam, because the jam wasn't as sweet. *THAT* sweet. But it was quite good nevertheless, though I suggest that if you're in the field, that you fix up a mug of hot chocolate (instant, from a pouch, a tiny soda-can alcohol burner will heat up a stainless steel mug of hot water to sufficient temperature for hot chocolate use within 3 minutes) to drink with it. That way you can get a *triple* sugar rush! Woo!

Finally, there is the "Dairyshake, Vanilla". Apparently an earlier version of this MRE included a strawberry shake that was entirely unpalatable ("Pepto-Bismol!" was a common description). This enormous pouch says to put a whole six ounces of water into it, which would result in something with roughly the consistency of school paste. It also says it has 450 calories (!), 19g of protein (roughly 1/3rd your daily requirement!), and an awesome 16g of fat. In short, this thing accounts for an enormous chunk of the 1200 calories that a MRE is supposed to contain. I am taking it to work tomorrow and will eat it for lunch, and then edit this review to let you know how it turned out. (And don't worry, I have another MRE at work in case this "dairyshake" is entirely inedible!).

-- Badtux the Gourmet Penguin

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