Strange Dark Brown Bag MRE: Meatballs with Rice

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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SentientTootsieRoll
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Strange Dark Brown Bag MRE: Meatballs with Rice

Post by SentientTootsieRoll » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:38 pm

I recently ordered some strange MREs that fellow MREInfo member Cortexmelon had inquired about in this forum. I was just as shocked as they were, so I decided to place an order for the lot. $55 later and here's part of what I got! Today I decided to go for the Meatballs for Rice MRE. I've had this menu before and it's one of my favorites from this era of MREs.
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Notice anything odd? The label is missing everything except for the menu name. I've got to see what's in it.
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It has:
- Meatballs (Beef and Rice) in Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Applesauce
- Crackers
- Cocoa beverage powder (did someone say cocoa?! :mrgreen:)
- Milk Caramels
- Cheese Spread
- Accessory Packet
- Brown Spoon

I did mention this on a previous post, but none of the components in this lot of MREs line up with the official listing for any of the MREs from this time period. I also saw that the components were all from differing dates of production. You can read more about that here.
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Accessory packet items laid out, front and reverse:
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And the final product!
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I heated the meatballs up using a 2013 era FRH and it did a good job. They were still good, and tasted very fresh. They have a strong, sweet barbecue sauce and there are some pretty nice chunks of rice in it. It didn't taste sour either! Next is the applesauce. By looking at the pictures, you may think to yourself "Wow, that must be cinnamon applesauce! Cool!". Unfortunately, you'd be incorrect. Over the years, the applesauce in these older rations tends to ferment and turn dark as a result. Oftentimes, it tastes rather alcoholic in nature. This time, not so much. It tasted like normal applesauce, just a little thicker and not so fresh. Think of it as the least freshest applesauce you've ever had. That's the best way I can put it.

The crackers were surprisingly dark and baked to perfection. I decided to leave the cheese spread out, You can probably guess why. So, I smashed the crackers into small pieces, took some Tabasco sauce I had lying around and mixed it in with the crackers. That's a new MRE trick I've been doing for a while now. It actually tastes better than you'd think. Try it sometime. :) The caramels were oily in the package. I decided to unwrap just one in the picture above, but it was very soft and difficult to remove. It tasted sour. The cocoa and type 1 instant coffee were as great as ever.

In the past I hadn't really valued Type 1 coffee as much as some of the members around here do. To me, coffee just tastes like coffee and I'm satisfied. This morning, I had some without thinking about it and noticed that after drinking it, it left a really enjoyable and somewhat unique taste in my mouth that I really liked. I don't even get that with freshly brewed Folger's coffee. I'm beginning to rethink coffee now.

So, it goes without saying that this was a passable and unique ration. Any speculation regarding to its origin is welcome. Thanks for reading!
If we don't study the mistakes of the future, we're bound to repeat them for the first time.

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Cortexmelon
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Re: Strange Dark Brown Bag MRE: Meatballs with Rice

Post by Cortexmelon » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:57 pm

Wow, that applesauce is wicked awesome lol, never seen one so brown!!

I'm noticing all the MREs so far seem to have caramels, musve been the candies left over lol.

Thanks for sharing these, always fun to see this MRE types most people havent seen before or recently.

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Ruleryak
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Re: Strange Dark Brown Bag MRE: Meatballs with Rice

Post by Ruleryak » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:07 pm

From the other thread where these first showed up and you let us know you bought a case:
Ruleryak wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:06 pm
These are SOPAKCO Emergency Meals. One of the same companies that makes MREs packs their own civilian versions as well. These days they're in a clear pouch with Meal Ready to Eat written on them, but in the 90s they were in variations of the dark brown bag. These were probably packed in late 93 or early 94, but included some older components like the drink mix.

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elandil
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Re: Strange Dark Brown Bag MRE: Meatballs with Rice

Post by elandil » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:38 pm

if you can find them in good shape, those Milk Caramels have always been a treat. Nice vanilla backed flavor, perfect level of sweetness, you can tell that things just tasted better back then...not sure what happened...

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