2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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BTemple
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2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby BTemple » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:15 pm

I have to start by saying a huge thank you to eistee for hooking me up with this incredibly fresh MRE. This thing certainly traveled a lot in its short life.... made in the US, went to Germany and then took the trip back across the Atlantic to Newfoundland. This will also be the newest MRE I have ever had a chance to taste, so I was very excited to say the least. The freshest I have had up to this point are mid-2014 rations.

The outside of the package didn't have a date code, but once inside every item had a 7 at the beginning of every date code so it was easy to see that this was a brand new ration. First of all it has to be said that the components in this particular ration are VERY different from the last Menu 23 MRE I've had (the review of which has been viewed over 1500 times here on this site!). That one was a 2014 from Sopakco and this is a 2017 from Wornick. This time around we have a Cherry Blueberry Cobbler, a TFF Chocolate Chip Cookie, a Chocolate Protein Powder drink mix, and then the standard Italian Breadsticks, Jalapeno Cheese-spread and of course the Chicken Pesto Pasta entree.

First interesting thing I noticed was that the accessory packet had a new brand of coffee in it, Genial, and the non-dairy creamer was packaged in a plastic akin to the other major components in the ration, not the waxy paper like before. Perhaps this is to extend shelf-life.... who knows?

With everything laid out I must say that it looks great and smells even better. The chocolate chip cookie didn't survive the trip unscathed but that is to be expected at times. It was nice and crisp with lots of big chunks of chocolate found in it. The lack of trans fat did change the taste slightly compared to previous iterations, but noting too severe. It simply tasted similar to a large Chips Ahoy cookie.

The FRH got hot almost immediately after adding water and was actually bubbling after 15 or 20 seconds... I was quite impressed.

I mixed up the chocolate protein powder drink in the beverage pouch and shook it for a nice while, but apparently I didn't mix it up quite good enough.... as you can see, the top 1/3 of the drink is much thicker than the bottom 2/3. And when I took my first mouthful the top was actually more like pudding than a shake. Not a horrible thing, it actually tasted very nice, but just a little hard to wrap your head around it the first time that texture hits you. I'll just shake the next one I ever get A LOT more. Haha

I would be the first person to say that I normally do not like the Cherry Blueberry Cobbler... I've had it in several MRE's and IMP's and was not a fan at all. This ration, being so fresh, has actually changed my mind! It was absolutely delicious this time around. Great mix of cherry and blueberry flavour, and those chunks of pastry made for a nice texture variation with each mouthful. I'd gladly have it again if I knew it would taste like this.

The last few items are the Italian bread-sticks and the ever-loved Jalapeno Cheese-spread. Being so fresh, the bread-sticks were great on their own, with the very subtle taste of rosemary. Adding the cheese-spread took it to a whole other level. And since the cheese-spread was amazingly fresh as well it had a little bit more kick than usual, which was most welcome. I saved the last little bit of cheese to mix into my entree near the end.

Lastly we have the entree itself. And I know that this is a very divisive entree among us ration lovers, some like it very much and others hate it, not much grey area.
Simply put, this is the best this entree has ever tasted. The flavours were much more subdued than I have ever found, nothing really overpowered you. Great natural pesto flavour, with basil and rosemary and pine nut flavour present. The pasta was a little soft but not too mushy. The sun-dried tomato pieces were actually great and gave a wonderful complimentary flavour. And most surprising of all.... the chicken wasn't dry! There was a lot of it and it was better than I have ever seen it.

All in all.... I can't find one thing to complain about in this ration... except that I was hoping to maybe get a little sachet of beverage powder in the accessory packet, just so you wouldn't have the protein shake as your only option if you didn't want coffee. Otherwise this was perfect. I don't know when I'll ever get another 2017 MRE again but i'll certainly jump on any chance I get.

Thanks for stopping by, have a good one!
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Evergreen21
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby Evergreen21 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:12 pm

That's some amazing fortune to get your hands on a fresh ration like that! Thanks for the review, looks like it was a great time haha :)
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby BTemple » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:51 pm

Evergreen21 wrote:That's some amazing fortune to get your hands on a fresh ration like that! Thanks for the review, looks like it was a great time haha :)


Eistee said he was sending a random one from the B case and I certainly lucked out! This is one of my favourite menus overall.
Thanks! It was a great dinner.... I still wasn't very hungry when supper rolled along. Haha
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby JT1991 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:52 pm

Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby BTemple » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:50 am

JT1991 wrote:Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks! Worst thing now is that I want more 2017's. Haha
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby parafireboy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:35 pm

Great review, thanks for sharing! That is pretty amazing to get one that fresh, and that well-traveled!

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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby Nighthawk1097 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 pm

This review made me crave an MRE! Anyone know where I can get one that fresh?
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby BTemple » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:55 am

parafireboy wrote:Great review, thanks for sharing! That is pretty amazing to get one that fresh, and that well-traveled!


It would be amazing to get another 2017 to try.... Southwest Beef and Black Beans would probably be even better than usual if it was fresh!
In the immortal words of President Harrison Ford, Air Force One: Peace is not the absence of war... it is the presence of justice.

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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby BTemple » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:56 am

Nighthawk1097 wrote:This review made me crave an MRE! Anyone know where I can get one that fresh?


I've literally never seen 2017's for sale anywhere, sadly.
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Re: 2017 MRE Menu# 23 Chicken Pesto Pasta: Freshest MRE I've Ever Had!

Postby HurtTrotter » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:49 am

Nighthawk1097 wrote:This review made me crave an MRE! Anyone know where I can get one that fresh?


I bought from us in Kiev, MRE 2017 Wornick. And now they are selling, there are even boxes on sale)


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