2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Reviews of other US rations - MCW, LRP, MCI, FSR, etc.
Bonk
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2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby Bonk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:29 pm

Edit: Images temporarily unavailable due to the author moving his own image storage 8)

Having sourced a suitable tray, it was finally time to sample this culinary curiosity, generously provided by our esteemed member, gundog4314. As another esteemed member of the MRE community, gschultz9, has already reviewed the LPR version of this menu on YouTube (which is ostensibly the same menu, save for slightly different accessory pack, which, based on his review and for reasons unknown and incomprehensible to this author, includes salt and extra pack of toilet paper, both which the MCW version lacks, a notable deficiency which will become apparent later in this review), and due general unsuitability of this author’s general habitus for on-camera reviews, a decision was made to submit this review in writing.

As this was my first experience with this type of sustenance, there was certain excitement with some trepidation palpable as I prepared for my preparations. With my trusty Victorinox Fieldmaster in my hand, I set about opening the package. The scent emanating from the pleasantly white, robust plastic pouch was decidedly reminiscent of America, although this author would be hard-pressed to explain why. I arranged the contents carefully into an aesthetically pleasing presentation to document this moment for posterity.

Of course, one would be amiss not to document also the accessory pack in a proper manner.

As my new, pristine Mil-Tec tray beckoned enticingly, it was time to prepare the meal. I decided to start with the main course, as it would require some time to stew. With a swift flick, my trusty Victorinox sliced the top of the pouch cleanly off. After applying my classic Fiskars scissors, the contents of the pouch were revealed with a delightful hiss.

After a metric conversion, I added the requisite 16 ounces of hot water, gave the contents a brisk stir with my trusty LuHa, and sealed the bag with a clip - a handy trick I had learned observing the greater ration community.

While the main course was re-hydrating, I set about preparing rest of the contents for presentation. I started with the lemonade base, which I dumped in my Ikea glass. The scent was very reminiscent of off-brand sports drink powder, which took this author pleasantly back to the youthful days of outdoors hockey, and frozen bottles of sports drinks. I couldn’t resist taking a sip, which revealed the taste to be very similar to lemonade sports drink, save for the chunks of ice.

Next I decided to prepare the coffee. I ripped open the satchel of Coffee, Instant, Type III, and was greeted by a pleasant, deep aroma, with a hint of sweetness to it. I poured the instant coffee in my trusty Mil-Tec cup, and added the creamer, non-dairy, dry, and sugar. To top things off, I added some hot water. This time I decided to forgo the sip and save the coffee for dessert.

By this time, this author regretfully had neglected his duty to photographically document the proceedings.

As the clock ticked towards my main course being sufficiently steeped, I set my sights on the vegetable crackers, ripping the package open with a satisfying hiss. After a few more rips, the crackers were liberated from their plastic shroud. The scent was pleasant enough, if somewhat nondescript. To go alongside with the crackers, the fine folk from The Wornick Company had provided a pouch of chocolate peanut spread, although this author found omission of the word “butter” in the label puzzling. And with these two ingredients, a somewhat regrettable presentation of the crackers and spread was created. I topped things off by pouring the nut and raisin mix and the M&Ms on my trusty tray. 10 minutes had elapsed, and my main was course done.

As I emptied the main course out of its pouch, the first thing that struck me was the sheer amount of sustenance it provided. Luckily, the fine folk at Mil-Tec had apparently anticipated this, as the bowl on my trusty tray had the exactly right volume to contain to contents of the pouch. As I was ravished after my daily toil, I decided to forgo the more traditional sampling of these delicacies, and start with the main course with gusto.

The visual inspection of the main course revealed that I had neglected to stir the contents vigorously enough, and they were somewhat lopsidedly clumped on my trusty tray. The scent was pleasant, with a whiff of musk from the dry-freezing process. The first taste revealed the aforementioned salt issue, mainly the near total lack of the said condiment. As no salt was provided in the accessory kit, and to keep with the spirit of this review format, I decided not to rely on my own condiments.

Luckily, the accessory pack provided a pouch of Tabasco sauce. As my intention was to consume all the contents of the ration, I decided to dump the whole pouch of Tabasco in my main course. And no sooner the plan was conceived, it was executed. However, seems like issues with stirring were to plague this review, and I neglected to properly stir in the said Tabasco sauce, a folly which soon will become apparent also to the reader. As faith would have it, I scooped up a hearty portion of my main course right where I had emptied the Tabasco sauce. I have to admit, the initial taste was quite pleasant, and a definite improvement over the out-of-the-bag taste experience. However, and this is where the folly becomes apparent, this was soon replaced by somewhat tearful realization of the said neglect. Yet I decided to soldier on and finish my main course, as that was the spirit with which I had set the course for this review.

With the main course finished, and the various excretions from the facial subsided, it was time to reward myself with some dessert. First, I decided to cleanse my palate with a sip from my trusty Mil-Tec cup. Unfortunately, this revealed yet another consequence of my aforementioned folly. It appeared I had temporarily (hopefully) lost all sense of taste. Puzzled by this, I decided to taste the cracker, with the same unfortunate result.

Yet, march on a reviewer must. I would surmise the coffee, while not up to some finer standards sophisticated baristas set, was acceptable. The tactile feel of the cracker and the spread was somewhat mealy, but not altogether unpleasant. I suspect I did detect hint of chocolate, but that could be my imagination playing tricks on me, a palatable placebo effect, if you will.

The nut and raisin mix was quite bland, and although I could not detect any tastes present, I could detect a distinct lack of a certain taste, namely salt, which seems to be the overarching theme for this review. I can only assume there was a severe salt-shortage in the United States during 2013. Let us hope that the new administration heeds the strategic salt reserve with a keener eye.

The M&Ms had suffered some cosmetic surface damage, and it is this author’s opinion that the fine folk at Mars company should set their food safety division to address this shortcoming to improve the survivability of these important treats in the rigors of the combat environment. I assume this has not affected the taste, although this assumption could not be corroborated by factual knowledge.

By this time the aftermath of the Tabasco incident had reached the lower levels of the gastrointestinal tract. The toilet paper provided was in this author’s opinion surprisingly comfortable, but as noted earlier, woefully lacking in supply. The moist towelette provided some welcomed refreshment after this ordeal. The matches performed their odor-elimination function satisfactorily. To preserve the reader, this author did not document this part of the review photographically.

Finally, this author sampled the chewing gum provided in the accessory pack, and might have detected a trace of spearmint.

As due to the Tabasco incident it would be somewhat unfair towards the fine folk at The Wornick Company to give a star rating to this product, this author concludes this review by stating that what perceivedly was lacking in taste, was more than offset by nourishment provided. Three stars.
Last edited by Bonk on Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Asger
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby Asger » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:51 pm

Nice detailed review. Most people like LRP/MCW rations


Bonk wrote:As another esteemed member of the MRE community, gschultz9, has already reviewed the LPR version of this menu on YouTube (which is ostensibly the same menu, save for slightly different accessory pack, which, based on his review and for reasons unknown and incomprehensible to this author, includes salt and extra pack of toilet paper, both which the MCW version lacks, a notable deficiency which will become apparent later in this review)


There was some talk here about different accessory packs viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6758&p=51068#p51068

And about why 2 toilet papers vs 1 is: One menu bag per day is used for the LRP, whereas three menu bags are used per day for MCW.
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kman
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby kman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:29 pm

So basically, you pepper-sprayed your mouth before the true ration tasting began. Then proceeded to get almost no taste from the food. These things happen. Next time, be sure to pepper-spray yourself *after* you finish eating it. :-)

Bonk
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby Bonk » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:56 pm

I might've embellished some details a bit, or as the Finnish politicians say, "I might've modified the truth". We Savonians are storytellers by nature, so we tend to do that a bit, all in service of a good story, of course 8) The Tabasco incident was fairly accurate tho... But I have to say, the things you learn on this forum! I'm always jealous when people know so much stuff, my scatterbrain usually gives up somewhere around "ok, so this is a... thing... got it" :D

Apocalypse
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby Apocalypse » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:56 am

"Facial excretions"! Love the term, will be reusing elsewhere. Well done, sir!
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parafireboy
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby parafireboy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:01 pm

Great review! Hope you got your sense of taste back later. :wink:

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steve1989
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby steve1989 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:46 pm

Now that was some choice MRE Review reading..! Awesome work, and like parafireboy says, hope you get your tastebuds back after nuking your tongue with tobasco! 8)
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Bonk
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Re: 2013 MCW Menu 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Postby Bonk » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:49 pm

Thanks, folks, for the kind words. The taste buds are back in somewhat operational state, and preparing for new culinary experiences and experiments. 8)


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