Menu No. 17, 2007

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
Nix
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Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Nix » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:54 pm

My first review post here. I hope this fits the site format. I can get wordy, so if I ramble on too much or have included unnecessary detail, someone please give me a little guidance.

So today's MRE tasting was the venerable Sloppy Joe, menu No. 17, lot code 34 7257. I think this makes this MRE a few days over 10 years-old. I purchased this ration from a military commissary back in 2009 (if memory serves, might have been 2010). It was stored in a "cool, dry place", i.e. my basement, until lunchtime today.

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This was a great ration back in the day. But how did it stand the test of time?

You can see that there is a nice selection of food items ("Barbecue sauce with Beef", tortillas, cheese flavor crackers, the beloved Cheese spread with Jalapeños, fruit punch, a cookie, and an accessory packet.

Nice accessory packet; I like my coffee and Tabasco sauce:

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While I was waiting for my entree to warm up, I broke into the crackers and punch.

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Normally I wouldn't drink the punch. I'm not a big fan of sugary drinks, and this 'punch' doesn't contain any vitamins. It does have a few electrolytes, but seems devoid of useful nutrition. But since this was a review, I sampled it. Not bad. Sweet for my tastes, but a nice artificial cherry flavor. It was reminiscent of Hawaiian Punch. Had the right color, too: day-glow kindergarten.

The crackers were fresh tasting and crisp. These are essentially commercial "Cheez-It" baked crackers.

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A tasty salty snack at any time.

Let me digress for a moment. I usually found that an MRE had more food than I could eat in one sitting. Typically, I'd eat the main entree and then stash the other components in my pockets or a rucksack for use later. This strategy kinda fails with items like the cheese crackers and short bread cookie because, invariably, these items would get crushed and turned into "Bits and Dust, Cheese cracker-type." C'est la vie. C'est la guerre.

Back to the Sloppy Joe.

I heated the Sloppy Joe packet, tortillas, and cheese spread in a pan of simmering water. Maybe I should have used the FRH for thoroughness, but as I was inside, I just went with hot water. Is that a 'cheat' here? Had I been in the field, I would have stuffed Sloppy Joe, Tortillas, and cheese into the FRH. All these components work best when warm and supple. After heating, I kneaded the cheese spread for uniformity (always a good idea, regardless of date.).

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Normally, I'd open the Sloppy Joe package, add the Tabasco and cheese spread into the Sloppy Joe pouch, and then spoon it all from the Sloppy Joe pouch into my face or onto a piece of tortilla for more dignified consumption. Since I was at home today, all the components went on to a plate where I could taste each individually before mixing in my usual manner.

The Sloppy Joe mix (Barbecue sauce with Beef) was still quite good. It tasted heavily of tomato sauce and was very sweet. Not much spice. After a few little bites, I noticed a slightly chemical flavor, probably a preservative.

The cheese spread definitely had that funky sour cheese spread with preservatives taste. Most grown-ups with an actual palate do not like this stuff, but, if you eat it often enough when freezing cold and hungry,....well, I've grown to enjoy it.

Age had robbed the Tabasco of it's red color, but not it's flavor and heat. Hooo-ah!

All mixed together and slathered on bits of tortilla, it made for a delightful lunch. And then kinda sat, leaden-like, in my belly. Yup, just like it was in 2007.

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Much to my surprise the coffee and cookie were still very fresh. The cookie still had a strong smell of vanilla and kept it's crisp crunch. Even the creamer was good.

So, all in all, this ration held up quite well. All the components remains edible and fairly fresh. That cheese spread did taste fairly strong, but I sure ate it all.

My tasting assistant liked the cookie, but preferred the cheese crackers.

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Oh, the gum. The gum was still soft, and tasted of spearmint. After chewing for 5 minutes it developed a slightly acrid, chemical taste as the spearmint flavor slowly vanished......

Nix
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Location: Montana, USA

Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Nix » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:31 pm

I thought I'd add another personal detail here.

The MRE comes with a zip-top "Hot Beverage Bag". I can only remember using the beverage bag for a hot beverage on one occasion. While it worked, it's really pretty awkward to use. I usually had a canteen cup or soft silicone cup with me, so never really needed the bag for hot drinks.

However, the beverage bag is an awesome, strong waterproof bag. I always (as in always) saved my beverage bags to use as storage bags to keep bits of kit, matches, wallet, stamps, cell phone, and spare bits of food dry and protected.

I was over at the local community college yesterday. A student in the machine shop cut his hand nicely on the sanding belt of a grinder. I reached into my day-bag and pulled out a small first aid kit. Yup, I keep my small first aid kit in an old MRE Hot Beverge Bag. Image

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Last edited by Nix on Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nighthawk1097
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Nighthawk1097 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:34 pm

Great review! I've always wanted to try out the sloppy joe, and next time I get the cheese spread I'm gonna have to cook it!

Also, welcome to the community! :)
Keep calm and knead peanut butter
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Simon2002mre
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Simon2002mre » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:43 pm

Nighthawk1097 wrote:Great review! I've always wanted to try out the sloppy joe, and next time I get the cheese spread I'm gonna have to cook it!

Also, welcome to the community! :)

That was an amazing review actually with awsome photos, keep em' up!!
Killed by rancid pound-cake. I know that will be on my tomb stone.

Nix
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Location: Montana, USA

Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Nix » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:02 pm

Thanks, guys. I appreciate the kind feedback. And it was fun!

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elandil
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby elandil » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:33 pm

Nix wrote:Back to the Sloppy Joe.

I heated the Sloppy Joe packet, tortillas, and cheese spread in a pan of simmering water. Maybe I should have used the FRH for thoroughness, but as I was inside, I just went with hot water. Is that a 'cheat' here?


Great first review, and absolutely nothing wrong with putting the kettle on, I've used that hack many a time in the house. :)
Tried- Brit 24hr, FSR, MCW, IMP, EPA II, RCIR, Spanish IMP/lunch, Norwegian Arctic Ration, Brown Bag Corned Beef Hash MRE

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elandil
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby elandil » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Nix wrote:I thought I'd add another personal detail here.

The MRE comes with a zip-top "Hot Beverage Bag". I can only remember using the beverage bag for a hot beverage on one occasion. While it worked, it's really pretty awkward to use. I usually had a canteen cup or soft silicone cup with me, so never really needed the bag for hot drinks.

However, the beverage bag is an awesome, strong waterproof bag. I always (as in always) saved my beverage bags to use as storage bags to keep bits of kit, matches, wallet, stamps, cell phone, and spare bits of food dry and protected.

Just wait til you get introduced to the Canadian Beverage bag....you'll fall in love. :D
Tried- Brit 24hr, FSR, MCW, IMP, EPA II, RCIR, Spanish IMP/lunch, Norwegian Arctic Ration, Brown Bag Corned Beef Hash MRE

facebook http://www.facebook.com/ElandilMRE

youtube http://www.youtube.com/c/ElandilMRE

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parafireboy
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby parafireboy » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:33 am

Great job on your first review! Thanks for sharing!

Evergreen21
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Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Evergreen21 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:18 am

Amazing pics and great review! Looks like you got a good one for it's age.
"Everyday that I wake up is a victory."

Nix
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Location: Montana, USA

Re: Menu No. 17, 2007

Postby Nix » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:03 am

Evergreen21 wrote:Looks like you got a good one for it's age.


It wasn't old, it was "curated." :wink:


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