I felt like having another MRE today, so I grabbed this one. This is a 2002 Turkey Breast with Gravy and Potatoes. I have a 2001 version of this menu as well, but Oldsmokey already made a video review of that MRE so I decided to review the 2002 menu.
One thing I've begun to notice is that most of the the MREs from this era aren't too much different than the ones produced today. The FRHs are about the same, the way some of the items are packaged are the same, etc. I still like opening them and comparing it to a modern MRE just to see how things have changed. I've also noticed that the older ones all come with Tabasco sauce and matches. With the newer MREs, it's more of a hit or miss.
So let's start with the turkey breast. It came with quite a bit of gravy so when I poured it onto the plate, it pretty much soaked the crackers and pretzels. Not a big problem. The turkey itself tasted pretty odd. It's nothing like I expected. It was very processed and the chemical taste was strongly present. It was also pretty hard to cut. The potatoes were soft and the gravy was okay. Overall, I didn't really care for it. I wish they would have included mashed potatoes in this MRE instead. I think that would have made the experience a little better.
The cheese pretzels were tasty and are just like the new ones. You can never go wrong with those. The crackers weren't baked enough and were pretty soft, so I didn't even finish those. The peanut butter tasted fine as usual and also tasted the same as the kind produced today. The chocolate sports bar is comparable to the chocolate First Strike Bar they put in the current MREs. It tasted about the same, but there was a small coating of chocolate over the bar and was a great desert! I'm glad they still produce a variant of it today.
I found it odd that they included two Grape drink mixes. Maybe it was a mistake, but I'm perfectly okay with it. It mixed nicely and is comparable to the carbohydrate electrolyte beverage you get today, except it was colored purple instead of blue! I already had some coffee today, so I put that aside. The gum was a little hard but I could tell it had real sugar in it. It wasn't as minty as the current MRE gum, but it was still enjoyable for the 10 seconds it lasted.
Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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If we don't study the mistakes of the future, we're bound to repeat them for the first time.