Dick Scuttlebutt is Duffel Blog’s roving food critic. He has degrees in both gastronomy and gastrology from East Dickhole State University. Go Manticores.
A new year is upon us, and soon we will see the rollout of the 2015 MRE menu slate from the good people at the Defense Logistics Agency. Though we foodies here at Duffel Blog look forward to that, for the time being let’s take a look at some of the most popular menus from the last few years.
A soldier places a main meal into an MRE heater, hoping that warming it up will make it better. He's also hoping the roach coach shows up to this damn range, because these fucking things suck.
#5: Chili and Macaroni
Ingredients: Chili and Macaroni; Pound cake; Cheese spread, bacon; Crackers; Candy III; Beverage, carbo electro; Spice, red pepper; Accessory packet A; Spoon; Flameless ration heater; Hot beverage bag.
Like we wouldn’t include this classic, still alive and kicking after all these years. Chili Mac may be the perfect MRE menu (although its cousin Cheese Tortellini is very well-balanced too). The meat in the chili mac is a grab bag of beef, horse, emu, buffalo, ocelot, and Scott Tenorman’s parents. The macaroni noodles are yeasty and require a suspicious amount of chewing. The pound cake is reminiscent of drywall with hints of office chair padding. DIY Gatorade tastes like Mountain Dew and asparagus pee. It provides a quick energy boost, which will allow you to continue jerking off in the porta-john while you peek out at Sgt. Tamzarian doing CrossFit in her sports bra. I like to crumble the crackers into my chili mac and eat it all together. The only big drawback to this menu is the licorice candy, which this critic despises, but you can usually trade them for more crackers to go with your cheese spread.
Why do these assholes have fresh fruit on the table? Don't they know the only thing worth eating in life comes in a sealed brown bag filled with diarrhea-inducing sustenance?
#4: Beef Ravioli
Ingredients: Beef Ravioli; Cheese spread; Wheat snack bread; Corn nuts; Dried fruit; Beverage, carb fortified; Hot sauce; Accessory packet C; Spoon; Flameless ration heater; Hot beverage bag.
These pasta curls resemble the ears of dead gooks my Vietnam vet uncle keeps in a sack in his old footlocker. They taste exactly the same too. (Don’t judge me. Have you ever eaten pho? You know what you’re eating? Ear soup. So climb down off your high horse, asshole.) They contain a beef-like substance which has been infused with the sweat from a Hungarian’s sweatsocks. The corn nuts have a delightful hint of chode. The dried fruit reposes sullenly in your mouth like a flaccid dong, and makes you wonder what kind of nursing-home diaper-wearing idiot thinks dried fruit is appetizing. The roofing-shingle that DLA calls “wheat snack bread” is very useful for plugging bullet holes in your SAPI plates and tests have shown this will actually increase structural integrity. The only downside here is that there are no crackers to accompany the “cheese” spread, so you have to trade with somebody for crackers. Hope you saved some Skittles from lunch.
Gimme that good ol' military goo!
#3: Pork Sausage In Cream Gravy
Ingredients: Pork Sausage In Cream Gravy; Granola with Milk and Fruit; Chocolate Banana Nut Muffin Top; Cheddar Cheese Spread; Crackers; Beverage Base; Accessory Packet A; Spoon; Flameless Ration Heater; Hot Beverage Bag.
Upon close inspection of the congealed cream gravy, I discovered that it was, indeed, solidified whale semen. The sausage was only “pork” if pigs evolved tentacles while I wasn’t paying attention. The granola emitted a transcendent aroma of gangrenous almonds and pine needles. The chocolate banana nut muffin top was a sad reminder for me that my wife has yet to lose the “baby weight” from our teenage daughter — yet I’m an asshole if I comment on her weight. This menu secured its place in our top five because of the crackers and cheese spread. Honestly, I don’t know why DLA considers any other side item pairing. You can’t top perfection. And best of all, the crackers are not “vegetable” crackers, whatever that means. Literally the only way to make this menu better would be to include the bacon cheese spread instead of the normal unbaconed cheese spread. Is unbaconed a word? Fuck you in the mouth, it is now.
Some meals are so dangerous to a human being's digestive system that the Pentagon recommends wearing gloves and having a knife on hand at all times, in case you need to kill the alien that pops out of your stomach, before he murders your entire platoon.
#2: Pork Rib
Ingredients: Pork Rib; Potato cheddar soup; Beef snacks; Peanut butter; Wheat snack bread (2); Candy, caffeine mints; Jelly/Jam; Beverage, carb fortified; BBQ Sauce; Accessory packet B; Spoon; Flameless ration heater.
This hunk of coagulated offal mashed into the shape of a graphic calculator is sure to offer your taste buds luminescent treasures. I had this meal five days ago, and my butthole still does not have an exit strategy. I believe the idea is to put the “pork” “rib” patty in between the two pieces of wheat snack break, which by the way are also handy to shelter under in case of a sudden monsoon. You garnish this Cthonic abomination with the BBQ sauce and have yourself, in essence, a Ranger McRib. Magnificent; but it leaves us without a dry carb to use with the other side items. Namely, the peanut butter which displays intriguing non-Newtonian fluid tendencies, and the jelly-slash-jam of a flavor that cannot be articulated in a language without clicks and whistles. So, once again, you need to fucking trade somebody for crackers.
Marines look through the MRE box trying desperately to find the meal that will send them to the head the fastest. Plot twist: It's all of them!
#1: Buffalo Chicken
Ingredients: Buffalo Chicken; Santa Fe Rice & Beans; Patriotic cookies; Turkey Nuggets; Cheese spread, Jalapeno; Tortillas; Candy II; Mocha cappuccino; Accessory packet B; Spoon; Flameless ration heater; Hot beverage bag.
A classic from the 2012 season. Our current favorite, not least because my old HQ platoon sergeant used to call it “Bubbleguts Chicken” because it gave him terrible gas. The chicken itself is not bad, tasting like a tangy mix between used zentai and infected foot blister. The rice is good although the beans look more like benign polyps removed from Ronald Reagan’s colon. The turkey nuggets are sure to be a hit at a haunted house when you want to simulate shrunken testicles. And I’ve never felt more patriotic than eating the patriotic cookies. Make sure you drink the mocha cappuccino while you smoke a Miami brand cigarette to achieve that true gastric zenith. Only downside is Accessory Packet B, which does not include coffee. How am I supposed to stay awake on watch if I can’t shove those grounds in my lip like snuff? And I can’t figure out what the fuck I’m supposed to do with these tortillas. Whip them at my Mexican commo sergeant maybe.
All menu listings from www.mreinfo.com. Lee Ho Fuk, Epic Blunder, and Jack S. McQuack heroically volunteered their own mortal GI tracts to contribute to this article.