Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units (+Extras)

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Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units (+Extras)

Postby steve1989 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:48 pm

I found 3 Meal, Combat, Individual B- Units for a mere $5 last year at a local flea market - and I wanted to open, photograph, and share the contents with you guys.

I have had a B-1a unit that it's crackers were still edible last year - Carol & I both tried em' and she actually ate a whole cracker. How many women actually try out the old stuff with ya? Keeper, for sure.

B-2 Unit's Cheese Spread was the worst thing I ever smelled. It was like gym sock scented tear gas, I ran it outside in a garbage back retching and gagging. Face was leaking everywhere like I was a fumigated cockroach. It was pretty bad.


The Sorbitol & Egg Alubmen in the Fudge Bar along with the oils all went bad. That also plagued the crackers with the same smell.

B-1a's crackers smelled the "freshest" but were also too metallic to be any bit palatable, but I can imagine they were still actually edible if you were literally starving.

The Chocolate Disc was just starting to go rancid. The Almonds weren't all that bad, but again, I can detect that it had gone bad some time ago. Maybe it was edible 10 years ago.



I washed out the cans - I keep a lot of the Ration stuff I open, Opened B-1a from the top only because bottom was kinda rusty. Still ok on my display shelf.


Hope you guys don't mind these pictures - the cheese is pretty disturbing, but in case anyone ever wondered what it looked like open in modern times, here ya go.
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Let's share B-2 Unit first - this one was the most interesting W/ that Cheese... whew!!
Always carry a P-38 Can Opener!
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1968 MCI Cheese Spread opened 8-11-2015
Last edited by steve1989 on Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1a, B-2, & B-3a Units

Postby steve1989 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:01 am

Now for the other 2.

My apologies for not properly presenting the B-2 Unit.

The problem was, after I opened it, I had almost no oxygen plagued by what had to be the most noxious spoiled food I have ever smelled and it made me panic. I quickly got photos, and then followed it up with prompt disposal.
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This really does not look too bad. It only smelled slightly rancid. I'll bet I could have gotten away with maybe 1 or 2 bites without getting sick, but it really isn't something that tastes that good so why bother?
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When will I ever find one of these that is still actually edible!? hehe
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Something about this that I find very satisfying.
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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1a, B-2, & B-3a Units

Postby steve1989 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:15 am

1 last photo of the Cheese Spread.

Also, here is a variety of MCI contents I bought off ebay, I am planning on sampling 1 each of those Instant Coffees and also photographing the Interdental Stimulator.
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Will have to examine an Interdental Stimulator and some of these old MCI coffees soon.
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Never again will I ever open or mess with one of these - whoah!!
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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units

Postby housil » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:40 am

So many lucky memories and lucky me, I didn´t have to smell them... :mrgreen:

Thx for sharing!

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units

Postby Norton » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:18 pm

Great Review, enjoyed the photos.

When I went to basic in 1979 the disk was still a popular item. The cheese in cans were not.
You could find those unopened cans on almost any training area. If you re-dug a fighting position you would hit unopened cans of Cheese and sometimes peanut butter. In hot weather the cheese was unappetizing and this was all types. Same with peanut butter. The crackers and jelly was OK in the heat. Hence you found less unopened cans laying about the woods. Or buried along with cans that had been opened

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units

Postby rationtin440 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:05 pm

Actually I'm wondering how faulty my memory might be after all. Although I can only recall the vanilla fudge disc and not the chocolate fudge, it would seem that the manufacturer would include the choc. fudge disc in the 1980 MCIs. I recall the toffee disc, vanilla fudge disc, poundcake, and the nutroll (the latter spawned a joke about feeding them to captured enemy troops and how to avoid being charged with an atrocity :lol: :roll: ) it is pretty bad when someone opens a can of nut roll several feet away and the smell of it permeates the whole area.

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units

Postby rationtin440 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:09 pm

One thing you'll have to do steve1989 is let us know how rock hard the coffee and creamer packets are and if they took forever to mix. I doubt they'd make you sick, but you could probably poke someone's eye out! :P

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units (+ Extras

Postby steve1989 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:31 am

To Housil: Too bad MCI's are a little before my time, I guess maybe some 1980 DoP ones were edible when I was a kid, but by this point, many of these components from MCI's are spoiled. Thank you for looking, and I am so glad you didn't have to smell that awful cheese, either! :lol:

To Norton: Thankyou for looking and I'm happy you liked the pictures! I always carry a P-38 on my keychain, so I had to use that for a couple of these cans I had opened. Oh boy, you are lucky you didn't have to smell that awful cheese - I think it ranks top 3 worst smells I have ever had the displeasure of smelling in my life. Sorta thing that sticks on the back of your throat! hehe
The Chocolate Discs were popular, huh? I can imagine them being pretty decent when they were fresh - kinda like a Heath Bar or something but in flat disc form and slightly cheaper tasting chocolate. So the cheese wasn't a hot-ticket item then and it sure as heck isn't now! :lol:
I am curious to see if there is a still "fresh" MCI Peanut butter left on this planet.
That's really neat, thankyou for sharing that about the cans buried around and whatnot in training areas - I'm not the only one here who loves to read about anything to do with the classics!
MCI's are such an iconic image of US Rations and Military culture. All of the jokes, the cool stories, the savvy alternate uses for the cans, P-38's, spoons, etc. The use of MCI's not only in wartime, but the use in movies as well. I love spotting out C rats in MASH, or in movies like Platoon or Hamburger Hill - heck I even saw a movie called Day of The Dead (Zombie flick) recently, and there are grunts eating some late-DoP MCI's down in a Fallout Shelter.
I wonder if there are any rare Rations buried in places where they are in relatively decent shape? Wish I knew!(and where!)



To rationtin440: I think I have a vanilla Fudge Bar lying around somewhere - if I do, I will get you some nice photos to put you down ol' memory lane, my friend! :)
Maybe the MCI's you had only had Vanilla Fudge Disc and the others you mentioned - who knows maybe the Choc Fudge Disc was discontinued by then or maybe the cases you guys were getting had mass substitutions, thus leaving the chocolate fudge bar out all together? No real way of knowing. I can say this, I had gotten 4 cases of 2008 Case A & B MRE's back in 2011, and I'm tellin' ya, I think I had gotten like 10 packs or more of kreamsicle cookies and it was substituting stuff like pound cake, and other cookies like chocolate chip. I was kinda irked because I don't like Kreamsicle cookies - so I gave them all to my buddy Brian who loved them and still asks me if I can get more to this day.

I opened a MCI Pound Cake (Regular) with a 1977 DoP - I have photos that I need to compress so I can share them on the site the pics are pretty high def.
Anyways, it smelled like bad gas and body odor in a locker room with no ventilation - but it still smelled like Gardenias in the cool breeze compared to that darned 1968 Cheese Spread! :shock: :lol:



As for the coffee I am presenting a taste test of them here.
These finely ground coffees that were treated with ascorbic are usually pretty dark, strong, acidic, and for a lack of a better term to describe flavor - bitter & acidic with a hint of stale. That would be to describe much of the old school coffees - but that is how they always were - these things changed very little to none at all over the years when kept dry and protected.

I will try some creamers soon - I actually have a coffee, tea, and creamer that are all lookin' fresh from a SA-6 Food Packet Survival. I need to try that next - sounds pretty neat, drink some coffee and creamer from 1956!
But this time, I left creamer and sugar out so I could do an honest taste test - I also put the coffee in glass cups so we can see them a little better - not sure if it helped any, but I tried! heheh

I also have pics of the actual close ups of the coffee before adding water - but sadly I need to compress before uploading them which I will have to do later. No worries! :)

I can describe the Sol Cafe packet to the far left as being the lightest color grounds. All were powdery fine and the other 3 had a molasses-dark color and the Sol Cafe was more of a light brown


PS I included pics on the Interdental Stimulator! This along with Cigarettes should be put back in Accessory Packets! I have been saying that about Acc packs & Smokes for years. Why can't our guys enjoy a smoke? I know for certain I would want to smell tobacco before I smell some of the other stuff you smell in the field. And when your nerves are jarred, eating food isn't always the first thing on your mind I can imagine.

I have tried various MCI smokes and most are pretty well preserved. I do not recommend doing it as cigarettes are unhealthy and in this manner also extremely expensive most of the time. My case, I found a lot of Mid-60's DoP Acc Packets for $30 including shipping so that gave me an opportunity to try some smokes and take pictures.
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Bite down so it splinters and you got yourself a small makeshift little toothbrush. Handy stuff!
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Sol Cafe (Left) - mild acidic compared to other 3. Slightly nutty and wholesome flavor. By far the most enjoyable and I ended up drinking about a third of it.
Tenco Type I (Right) - Highly acidic, lightly bitter, tasted more like Coffee Instant Type 1 from early MRE's but not quite as enjoyable - not very good and only had several small sips to confirm flavors.
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Tenco Type II (Left) - it pretty much tasted exactly like the Tenco Type I just less bitter - a slight improvement!
United Instant Coffee Corp. (Right) - the most bitter and acidic by far - this stuff is not coffee, it is pure indigestion in a cup!
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It was pretty darn fun trying out a bunch of really old coffee! :-D
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Sol Cafe (Left) - mild acidic compared to other 3. Slightly nutty and wholesome flavor. By far the most enjoyable and I ended up drinking about a third of it.
Tenco (Right) - Highly acidic, lightly bitter, tasted more like Coffee Instant Type 1 from early MRE's but not quite as enjoyable - not very good and only had several small sips to confirm flavors.
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Tenco Type II (Left) - it pretty much tasted exactly like the Tenco Type I just less bitter - a slight improvement!
United Instant Coffee Corp. (Right) - the most bitter and acidic by far - this stuff is not coffee, it is pure indigestion in a cup!
What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units

Postby steve1989 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:59 am

And now for a 1977 DoP MCI Pound Cake! It was pretty stinky and not edible at all!

And also, a C Ration Smoke. It wasn't too bad! :wink:


Here are the smaller Megabit sized piztures that could load. No worries, I can get the rest compressed to a specific size too - just another project! :D
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*Hissssss*

*Out comes a slightly stinky odor*
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What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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Re: Examining 1968 DoP MCI B-1A, B-2, & B-3A Units (+Extras)

Postby rationtin440 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:21 am

steve1989, About the only place you MIGHT find MCI cans (and they're probably waaaaay beyond spoiled, my guess is the botulism has probably even moved on) would be an AT&T communications bunker http://coldwar-c4i.net but even that is unlikely considering that when these places shut down in the early 1990s, they pretty much stripped them out, especially the copper and lead. Sounds like a real bummer with the poundcake, that was always good when we ate it----sometimes we'd heat up the toffee disc and as it started to melt we'd drizzle it on the poundcake. The discs were definitely not high quality chocolate, certainly nothing like EPa chocolate bars, but they did taste good for us choc-a-holics. cool pics too, although the sad state of the poundcake did put a lump in my throat! :cry:


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