Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Reviews and taste-tests of any MREs from 1981-present
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Shadowrunner
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Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by Shadowrunner » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:01 pm

Main course: I was pleasantly surprised to see that the sauce remained thick after heating. The scent of onion powder rose immediately upon opening the pouch, was pleasantly strong and not over powering. I had expected the sauce to be bland and sickly sweet in a way similar to Chef Boyardee and other cheap canned foods marketed for children. While still sweet compared to home made sauces and better commercial sauces, it was quite palatable. I threw the hot sauce packet in mine, but if you’re at home and have red pepper flakes I recommend using that instead so you can skip the vinegar in the flavor.
The rich texture and adult flavor spectrum should make most people happy considering this is survival food. The pasta and cheese filling itself remained enjoyably firm. The cheese was very neutral tasting and did not stand out in any particular way, but did have the mouth feel you might expect from a mix of ricotta and parmesan just like store bought tortellini. The final ingredient listed is simply “spice”, and I think they may have added a bit of white pepper. There was enough onion powder to hide it well if there is white pepper in the mix. This was a good main course for me as a newbie collector.

Trail mix, recovery: Disappointing. A mix of peanuts, cashews, almonds, and pretzel orbs. None of the nuts are salted, so without any chocolate or fruit included this was a very bland mix. All of the nuts are roasted very minimally, so they taste raw. Since the pretzel orbs are light weight and round, they come out of the pouch first with each handful and you have to pinch at the bag to get a good mix. This item left me wishing for the pack of smoked almonds that come in other ration menus. I’m left to wonder if it’s deliberately dry and bland since it’s marked for recovery and you’ll want your beverage powder along with this for sure. Unless you're hungry or in genuine need of calories I recommend just leaving it sealed for emergency use or trade.

Chocolate peanut spread: I loved this. It tastes just like the over-priced & hydrogenated chocolate flavored PB’s you can find in the novelty section of the PB aisle at the store these days. It made the unsalted MRE crackers not bad to eat at all. I kneaded mine thoroughly and the heat from my fingers made it a bit thinner, like a frosting. So, if you want it thicker like traditional peanut butter, just open and eat. I can easily see someone on the go just squeezing this from the pouch.

Vanilla Pudding Dessert Powder: saved for later review. Given that the meal includes a chocolate snack with a similar consistency to pudding, it seemed like a redundant dessert item and I lacked the appetite after the rest of the meal. The pouch is large, so I foresee no issue whenever I decide to mix it up.

Lemon-lime beverage powder: This was a bit strange. It has an acrid smell to it that you intuitively recognize as the lime flavoring. Like an artificial version of the zest or pith of a lime peel. However, the lime flavor doesn’t pop in that tart way you can taste or smell with commercial sports drinks. I added approx. 16oz of water as opposed to the instructed 12 oz. thinking it would be strong in flavor and regretted it. Weak stuff that tastes like sweet nothing and smells sharply bitter and funky like powdered bathroom cleaner from the dollar store.

Accessory packet included Coffee, Instant type III and non-dairy creamer.

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WorkmanMRE
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by WorkmanMRE » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:21 am

Nice to see written reviews. I love this menu and appreciate your perspective!
Cheers,
WorkmanMRE

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Shadowrunner
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by Shadowrunner » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:34 am

WorkmanMRE wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:21 am
Nice to see written reviews. I love this menu and appreciate your perspective!
Thanks,
It was fun to work it out in a word document because I had to look back and reflect on each bit. It was surprisingly good descriptive writing practice, unexpectedly. One thing that bothers me with videos is the viewer can't go at their own pace, but when we read we're more at liberty to dwell on certain details or skim through stuff as we please. Plus, it kind of feels like Christmas to open the menu pouches for some reason, and I like that even if I went in to painstaking detail, another newbie still has a lot left to their imagination for their first tastes of this stuff. I'm having more fun than I thought I would just writing it down. This one was pretty tasty and I might end up buying a few of the main course pouches for lazy days since the grocery store offers us worse options for the same price when it comes to heat-and eat-food.

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WorkmanMRE
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by WorkmanMRE » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:20 am

Right!!! Sometimes these dishes surpass expectatolions...keep it simple. Or the Chefs life mantra, "K.I.S.S." (Keep It Simple Stupid) you cant go wrong with this entree. Check out mremountain.com and mrenation.com for single entrees. Cheers fellow reviewer!
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WorkmanMRE

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rareauldmealtimes
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by rareauldmealtimes » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:47 pm

Hey Shadowrunner!

Great review. I myself just review a video review of the 2015 version of this ration (see my posts). What year was yours? Other than the Vanilla Pudding and the main it appears ours were quite different. I had plain peanut butter, grape beverage powder and no trail-mix! And a "Cafe Genial" coffee vs Type III. That chocolate peanut spread sounds a bit more appealing to me. I agree with you completely, the main was excellent and a very safe menu for just about anyone. However, I wish I would of remembered that tabasco! I would totally eat this menu again. I liked your very thorough style of your review. I was hasty and said I thought the cheese was like "mozeralla" but if I would of read the bag probably would of said "ricotta and parmesan". Lesson learned! I too was pretty disappointed by the grape beverage base. Weak and medicinal tasting!

What was that type III coffee like? I've heard from other reviewers its a travesty.

Thanks for the write up!

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RockyRaab
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by RockyRaab » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:07 am

As a writer myself. I genuinely applaud written reviews. Especially if they are well written ones.

As a general rule, I've found the vegetarian meals to be more flavorful than the meat ones. I suspect there are far fewer preservatives needed in the veggie meals, and also that they may try harder to make them tasty. I buy TOTMs most of the time, so the non-entree items are always different. However, I agree with your assessment of the main - it's quite good but is even better with a bit of zip added.

BTW, you'll enjoy the sauce that comes with the recent Elbow Macaroni in Tomato Sauce meal. Not Boyardi-like in any way. It's a thinner, deeply tomato sauce.
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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WorkmanMRE
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by WorkmanMRE » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:01 pm

RockyRaab wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:07 am
BTW, you'll enjoy the sauce that comes with the recent Elbow Macaroni in Tomato Sauce meal. Not Boyardi-like in any way. It's a thinner, deeply tomato sauce.
Totally agree on both parts, well written review. And the new tomato sauce is really good! The addition of herbs in the sauce is great. It really left its "canned sauce" flavor behind.
Cheers,
WorkmanMRE

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Shadowrunner
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Re: Newbie Comments on Menu 13 - Cheese Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Post by Shadowrunner » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 am

rareauldmealtimes wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:47 pm

What was that type III coffee like? I've heard from other reviewers its a travesty.
Thanks for the write up!
If you're a very positive and cheerful reviewer like Steve, you might call it smooth. Otherwise you might say bland or tasteless. Much like a cheap pilsner, it lacks in flavor and bitterness. Some people appreciate that and some don't. For coffee in the winter time I view it as a negative, unlike cold beer in the summer. I've never had an instant coffee I enjoyed though. I tend to use it in chocolate beverage mixes if I use it at all.
RockyRaab wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:07 am
As a writer myself. I genuinely applaud written reviews. Especially if they are well written ones...
As a general rule, I've found the vegetarian meals to be more flavorful than the meat ones...
BTW, you'll enjoy the sauce that comes with the recent Elbow Macaroni in Tomato Sauce meal. Not Boyardi-like in any way. It's a thinner, deeply tomato sauce.
Thank you for the compliment, I've been told my entire life that I should be a writer, but inspiration seems hard to find and sustain for me. I've found thinking through each portion of the meal and writing about it seems to be sort of a fun and relaxing meditative exercise though and plan on doing more.
The only vegetarian menu I've had so far was Menu 14 - Vegetarian Creamy Spinach Fettuccine (2017) and I didn't like it. The noodles were mush, there was more spinach than anything else and it picked up the foil flavor from the pouch. I noticed the cream base didn't taste like much of anything at all, almost like a reconstituted plain starch or a soluble fiber supplement. I look forward to others though, I generally like vegetarian and vegan foods. Someone swiped my elbow macaroni, I'll have to order a new case to get that one.
WorkmanMRE wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:01 pm
Totally agree on both parts, well written review. And the new tomato sauce is really good! The addition of herbs in the sauce is great. It really left its "canned sauce" flavor behind.
Thanks for the complimentary feedback. Mention of herbs coming through the flavor makes me enthusiastic to try it.

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