By Jason Wagner
Some of my initial impression amounted to me noticing that this MRE looked a little bit different in composition from some of the others that I’ve tried in the past, but that proved absolutely nothing and as such I eagerly ripped into everything to give it a proper survival test.
Overall Taste – 9.5/10: I’d of rated it a 10/10 if it were just a big MRE of the lemon poppy seed pound cake, you know! The MRE as a whole didn’t disappoint, which is something of a slight surprise to me; as in, how is it possible after all of this time I haven’t run into any disgusting meat MREs? I’m sure that time will come, but the fact that it hasn’t yet is…good. Everything in this MRE basically combines to form a meal that both tastes great and is nutritious with nothing really being out of place.
Taste – Mexican Style Chicken Stew 9.8/10: Me being me, the first thing to try out was the chicken and as always, my criteria for decent chicken basically amounts to the following: uniform chicken that doesn’t look like it was mechanically separated in some sort of disgusting fashion, preferably white meat, a texture that’s easy to tear and, like everybody else – taste. Now, a year ago I might have been surprised by this, but instead – I was just pleased; the chicken passed all of my criteria’s for quality meat and, well – I’m thoroughly impressed with the standard that’s apparently been set for this MRE chicken! The chicken may be the most important components of the MRE, and definitely in the Mexican style chicken stew, but I would hardly forsake the other components. The sauce was relatively light, yet savory; the same goes for the corn and I think that the Mexican style chicken stew would make an excellent tortilla filling.
Taste – Wheat Snack Bread 7.9/10: Maybe snack bread is MRE slang for flat, or otherwise unleavened bread because that’s basically how it appeared and definitely how it tasted. I’m not sure how well the snack bread meshes with the meal as a whole, but in a rather peculiar way, I did like it and I hardly think that it detracts from the meal, quite the opposite, in fact.
Taste – Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake 10/10: Now this was something special – the lemon poppy seed pound cake was…the only words needed to sum up its taste are absolutely delicious – seriously, this tastes more like something that was made at some sort of fancy bake shop. The poppy seeds, and in equal measure the lemon flavoring complimented the surprisingly moist cake rather perfectly, hence the 10/10.
Taste – the Jelly 9.9/10: It’s jelly that’s been safely preserved in a packet…and…and it tasted like jelly, so it tasted good; that’s about all I’ve got to say on the matter.
Taste – The Vanilla Dairy Shake 10/10: The following may seem a tad bit odd given the 10/10, but listen…I’m trying to decide whether I loved or hated it, but it was such a unique apocalyptic drink that it fills a rarely travelled void, which, in my eyes- makes it a highly prized drink mix. This tasted creamy in every sense of the word and not only was it creamy in taste, it was rich, thick and very akin to melted ice cream.
Texture – the Mexican style Chicken Stew 9.9/10: Everything about this was solid; for instance, there were no signs of the sliminess, or any of those other unappealing textures that can sometimes be associated with an MRE, but above all else – I cannot heap enough praise on the chicken. Any MRE chicken that has the exact same texture of good quality homemade chicken is something to be commended and respected; does anything more have to be said? The chicken has lines, it tears like real chicken and there weren’t any offensive fats to detract from the pleasing texture.
Texture – the Wheat Snack Bread 7.0/10: I’d most certainly of preferred if the bread was light and fluffy, but I’m a reasonable sort and given that this is bread that will last 130+ months when stored in good conditions, I cannot really hold too much against it, but with that being said the grainy and generally brittle qualities of the bread cannot go without notice, or in this case – without mention.
Texture – the Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake 10/10: Moist and perfectly dense are all that need to be said of this cakes texture. Alright, that was a somewhat short entry, so…hmm….what to add; oh, the poppy seeds were soft but with a little bit of texture – the good kind of texture.
Texture – Jelly 8.0/10: The jelly was perfectly fine, albeit a little bit on the diluted, or runny, if you will, side of things. It served its purpose well enough, but just the reiterate – this isn’t a thick spread of jarred preserves, not even close.
Texture – Vanilla Dairy Shake 10/10: While I have no doubt that there are scores of people out there whom would find the absurdly thick texture of the vanilla dairy shake to be disturbing, I found it to be oddly likable and extremely unique.
Convenience – 10/10: This MRE carries on with the tradition of other MRE’s, and in carrying the torch the MRE can be eaten immediately, but what makes this one superior is that a chemical heater is enclosed inside of the packaging which makes it possible, with the addition of only a very small amount of water to enjoy a hot meal in as little as 90 seconds…MRE’s are truly the ultimate survival food for the survivalist whom cannot be bothered with inconvenient eats. I also like the added convenience of being able to eat certain parts of the meal, while being able to save the rest later – it provides you with more tactical flexibility and, again – provides another reason to consider this as an extremely convenient survival food.
Operational Security – 10/10: It’s funny – when served as a hot meal, the single most compromising quality of this MRE is that the hot food gives off a normal-strength aroma, which makes it no different from any other hot meal; so even on the MRE’s worst point, I cannot deduct any points because, one – heating it is optional and two the aroma is nothing out of the ordinary. Yes, yes – I most certainly approve of this MRE for snipers and trappers – however you operate, I don’t think that you will be disappointed.
Weight/Bulk – 9.5/10: It’s an MRE, so you can expect the moderate weight that comes along with it…with that being said, given what you’re getting out of this MRE I actually consider it to be fairly lightweight, but what’s really great here is how the MRE is so space efficient. Storing a year’s worth of this stuff for a single person would be absolutely nothing and carrying enough food for the longest of scouting excursions is also made quite feasible.
Nutrition – 9.2/10: Let me start off by saying that yes, the caloric content of this MRE isn’t the very best, but that’s just it – its caloric content might not be the absolute best, but it is certainly passable. My misgivings about the calories aside, this MRE is packed with a truly tangible sum of protein, and don’t even get me started on the sheer volume of vitamins and nutrients. All and all, this is an MRE that will keep you in tip-top fighting shape, which is basically the point of Armageddon food, right?
On-The-Move/Carrying/Hoofing-It/Scouting/BOB/Field Score – 10/10: As we have already established, this MRE is extremely stealthy…check; the MRE is relatively lightweight and lacking in cumber, check again…and the MRE is nutritious, which once more – we have already confirmed. Something that I haven’t given much wording in; the resources used: This MRE is very light as it comes to needing precious water and absolutely no fuel is required and to compound a good thing, if you cannot spare those last drops of sweet, sweet water then you could, quite safely I might add – consume this MRE cold. Ah – the glory of the MRE…it’s so honorable of an apocalypse food.
Filling Factor – 9.6/10: A 9.6 is a grand score and for something to be considered even pretty good in terms of the filling factor, it must be…filling. Despite the slightly smaller amount of food when compared to some of the other MRE’s I’ve tested, this MRE seems to be no worse for wear, in fact, this MRE doesn’t just look to be a filling affair of good Armageddon grub – it is a filling serving of food of very good food. A quick scan alone reveals half the reasons behind the MRE’s well-suited ability to fill you and those reasons lie in the great number of proteins, proteins that are further strengthened in filling you by virtue of the many nutrients and other well spent calories. Now, what I especially liked about this MRE is how it not only fills you, it fills you in that kind of way that makes you feel as though you can tackle any problem…like when a video game character eats a snack and they’re instantly revitalized.
Shelf Life – 9.0/10: I’d argue that if it wasn’t for the overarching problem of only decent shelf stability, MRE’s would be across the board, the undisputed king of survival foods, but alas – this MRE, like all of the others of its kind shouldn’t be stored in toe with your 30+ year cans of survival nectar. Now, all of that certainly sounded glum, yet the shelf life of an MRE that’s been properly stored is hardly something to sneeze at, but don’t overestimate something that was never intended for extremely long term storage.
Final Review – 9.8/10: The beauty of this MRE is that it has absolutely everything that you need in one sealed, weather-proof housing that protects its precious cargo…precious cargo; that basically sums up my view of this food: You’ve got the nutrition, the taste, you’ve damn well got everything except the cure for human mortality inside of this MRE meal kit. MRE’s of this type tend to lend themselves especially well towards the longer-curve of the apocalyptic timeline given that they’ll fulfill your need for a higher standard of protein, stealthy operations and whatever other high-stress, high-risk food requirements may or may not be present. All of that largely explains why I am rather comfortable divvying out the score and scores that I have and am. To end the review, the question that just beckons to be answered is, would I give the nod to giving this one a try? Yes, and indeed I’ll even take it a step further: I enjoyed this MRE so much that I’m confident that once you’ve given this one a sampling, you’ll immediately find a cool and dark area of your house and then summarily order a bulk supply of these for your designated emergency food supply pantry/cache/locale.