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1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:34 pm
by BTemple
Finally getting a chance to finish off this Ration, Cold Weather from 1996, made by Right Away Foods. Once again I have to thank RC Gusto for hooking me up with this!

Was very much looking forward to this B component of Menu 5, since the A component was fantastic, but as we shall see as we take this journey, something juuuuust wasn't quite right.

In this pouch we have a Spaghetti & Meat Sauce entree, a beverage base Orange mix, 2 instant lemon teas, a chocolate covered brownie, 2 packs of oatmeal cookie & granola bars and a package of M&M's.

Here's everything all laid out and I must admit, it looks great.... but looks can be deceiving. Firstly, the M&M's initially appeared to be immaculate, but they were flecked with spots of a white powdery substance that seemed similar to mold... I tried a few that were clean and they tasted very stale and bitter, so I decided not to eat any more of them, and then that's when the cotton-mouth began.

The chocolate covered brownie certainly had the potential to be horrible due to the nuts, and as we see in the picture, it doesn't actually look that bad.... but, the brownie had dried out significantly and tasted foul, and also caused cotton-mouth.
The oatmeal cookie and granola bars have always been near the top of my list of items to try and I was very excited to finally get to eat them, but alas, it was a huge letdown. The granola bars only had a slight cinnamon flavour and the rest of the flavours were just bleach and staleness. The oatmeal bar gave me the worst sensation of cotton-mouth I have ever experienced in my entire life, along with swelling of my tongue... that's a major no-go there.

The one bright shining light of this entire ration were the drink mixes. The orange beverage powder was perfect, had no lumps, and when mixed it had a slightly thick consistency akin to Tang, but didn't taste quite as sickly sweet as Tang. Just the right amount of orange flavour.
The lemon tea mix was also fantastic, equal to any good instant lemon iced tea I've ever drank. I'm very glad that there were 2 packs of this, I'll certainly savour the other one when I mix it up in the future.

Lastly we have the entree, and I must admit that it seemed very good when I opened it, the very prominent influx of air into the pouch was a good sign. It looked good and tasted fairly good as well. But sadly by this time I already had a splitting headache and my stomach was not particularly enjoying the meal, so I had to end things there.

All in all I would give this B-component a 5/10, which is a far cry from the nearly perfect A-component earlier. I certainly look forward to getting my hands on another one of these in the future, especially a Beef Stew one.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a good one!

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:53 pm
by cavguy
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with this RCW, I have had tons of these in the past dated from 1989 --> to the modern ones and have yet to have any bad items, except the brownies with nuts. Your experience with the oatmeal cookie bars is also the first I have heard of one of these going bad. I have experienced slight loss of taste ie. blandness from the granola bars too, but never to the point where they were bad. Maybe this ration was heat stressed! Hopefully you can find another and experience the goodness that is the RCW!

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:07 pm
by BTemple
cavguy wrote:Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with this RCW, I have had tons of these in the past dated from 1989 --> to the modern ones and have yet to have any bad items, except the brownies with nuts. Your experience with the oatmeal cookie bars is also the first I have heard of one of these going bad. I have experienced slight loss of taste ie. blandness from the granola bars too, but never to the point where they were bad. Maybe this ration was heat stressed! Hopefully you can find another and experience the goodness that is the RCW!


The breakfast unit I reviewed earlier was almost perfect, so I assumed this one would be the same. Seems weird to be such a difference. But such is the way when reviewing things that are 2 decades old. I was totally surprised by the cereal bars.... always heard such amazing things. Now I have a second package that is probably not worth eating either.

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:12 am
by housil
I´m sorry you had this discomfort and I´m also sorry to hear, that great rations went bad. :cry: But after 20 years I think it´s "OK" nut got rancid etc. I´m happy to read the freezedried entree made it :D

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:12 am
by BTemple
housil wrote:I´m sorry you had this discomfort and I´m also sorry to hear, that great rations went bad. :cry: But after 20 years I think it´s "OK" nut got rancid etc. I´m happy to read the freezedried entree made it :D


I wish I had eaten the entree first so I could have fully enjoyed it... but I ate all of the other components while the entree was finishing heating up, which was certainly a mistake.
Luckily I feel ok today, was wondering how i'd be when I woke up this morning. Didn't really want to go teach today while possibly being sick. Haha

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:29 pm
by steve1989
Well, it's indeed rare for those oatmeal blocks to go foul like that. :(

I mean, the brownie being rancid is common, but those oatmeal blocks.. that is a first hearing that from an RCW.

I would say heat stress like cavguy mentions, but the Orange Drink was fine! If there was heat stress, I would think that maybe that drink woulda bit the dust too... but who knows, maybe it was protected in between other components. Very interesting to ponder the life of a Ration... it's storage life. Always a neat mystery unless you yourself stored it all those years.


I remember having bat oatmeal blocks once.. here was my experience:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5006


Came from a 1991 FPSGP and they were off.. bleachy and stale. Housil and the fellas ruled it being a most likely small pocket of sorts from the can. Perhaps your Oatmeal and Granola bars were pinholed? Have you tried the other pack? Very interesting, that's for sure!


At least your drinks and spaghetti made it out intact! In the meantime, we'll just have to be on the lookout for ya on finding some oatmeal cookies. They are just too good not to try at least once or twice.

Still really cool to see, thanks for sharing man!

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:38 pm
by BTemple
steve1989 wrote:Well, it's indeed rare for those oatmeal blocks to go foul like that. :(

I mean, the brownie being rancid is common, but those oatmeal blocks.. that is a first hearing that from an RCW.

I would say heat stress like cavguy mentions, but the Orange Drink was fine! If there was heat stress, I would think that maybe that drink woulda bit the dust too... but who knows, maybe it was protected in between other components. Very interesting to ponder the life of a Ration... it's storage life. Always a neat mystery unless you yourself stored it all those years.


I remember having bat oatmeal blocks once.. here was my experience:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5006


Came from a 1991 FPSGP and they were off.. bleachy and stale. Housil and the fellas ruled it being a most likely small pocket of sorts from the can. Perhaps your Oatmeal and Granola bars were pinholed? Have you tried the other pack? Very interesting, that's for sure!


At least your drinks and spaghetti made it out intact! In the meantime, we'll just have to be on the lookout for ya on finding some oatmeal cookies. They are just too good not to try at least once or twice.

Still really cool to see, thanks for sharing man!



I'm beginning to believe that one side of the pouch must have been exposed to heat or something and the middle of the pouch and inner side was unscathed.

I just opened up the other pouch of Oatmeal and Granola bars and they couldn't possibly be any more different than the other package. This pack today had a nice sweet smell when opened and both blocks were a much darker and more vibrant colour. I now understand what all the hype is about these. The oatmeal black was rich and buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. But for me the granola bar was head and shoulders above everything.... even the drink mixes. It was hearty and nutty, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and perhaps even allspice if I'm not mistaken. It had a slight flavour akin to "burnt" or "overdone", but not in an unpleasant way. Simply reminded me of delicious crispy granola. Not even the slightest hint of cotton-mouth or tongue swelling with this pack.
It's amazing how two identical components in the same bag can be so diametrically opposite.

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:01 am
by freedash22
Nice pictures! Sad to hear that yours didn't hold up so well. The RCW is the best US ration I've ever had. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd probably still eat mine even if they were rancid just to see how "Big Boss" from Metal Gear Snake eater felt like when he ate bad food. :shock:

Re: 1996 Ration, Cold Weather: Menu# 5-B

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:02 pm
by BTemple
freedash22 wrote:Nice pictures! Sad to hear that yours didn't hold up so well. The RCW is the best US ration I've ever had. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd probably still eat mine even if they were rancid just to see how "Big Boss" from Metal Gear Snake eater felt like when he ate bad food. :shock:


I can only imagine how great these were when they were only a year or two old.