Steve's International Ration Thread

Reviews of rations from abroad - British ration packs, EPA, IMP, RCIR, etc.
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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:21 pm

Laughing_man had put up a link here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4128

Laughing_man and donaldjcheek provided far more complete and informative knowledge on this Ration.

Thank you so much guys for your information - I will also investigate and see if I can find any more info on these older SADF Rations!

I will go back to that ol' Dutch (or whatever it is I am sorry I will find out what it is if I don't have one of you fellas jump in for a quick translation) and finish reviewing those 2 cans (Cheese and Pate').

But right now, I am doing one of the South African Rations from 1988.

I was surprised by this one - about a third of the contents were still edible which I expected none to be.

It weighs in at around 42 and two thirds ounces (2 2/3 pounds) - and it is certainly a 24 hour Ration.

I would say it's sortof a light weight reduced calorie approach. I can't imagine being in the South African bush with my whole kit and a FAl, Galil, or whatever I'm armed with and that heat, terrain, etc... only to live off one of these a day! Those guys were probably going into a catabolic state only living off these in the field. Weight loss, reduced energy levels and situational awareness, morale, overall diligence - all serious problem when you aren't eating enough out in the field.

The most amazing part was the Rum & Raisin bar was still 100% Edible - chocolate and nuts were maybe one or 2 years expired, sadly - the nuts were just going rancid and it tasted stale and not good at all.

The Rum & Raisin was the best Ration experience of the year! It literally tasted like a Rum & Rasin flavored Tootsie Roll!

It was amazing - I wish they still made these things somewhere - absolutely delicious and it is one of those unexpected things that makes Rations so exciting to me.
I probably shouldn't have subjected the local animals to these two highly disgusting smelling and metallic old S.A. Rat remnants. Kindof cruel - I hope the local Racoons have a Norge Iron Stomach x 10! :-O
Also smells like a spoiled, metallic remnant of it's former glory.

Note: the Russian IRP spoon broke trying to lift the lid of this can - whoops! So I used the ever-reliable Brown MRE Spoon

This one seems like it was once a decent meal - large chunks of meat and who doesn't like beans? Almost reminds me of a cross between a C-Ration and the meat entrees of a Russian IRP.
Using a russian IRP spoon - sorry, it's all I had in reach. The South African Rat had no spoon.
Smells like metal and old fish.
Last edited by steve1989 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:40 pm

More pics
Still edible - lots of fiber and tasted like a nicely aged fruit leather. I enjoyed it!
Fuit Bar - hmmm very dark.. might still be good, let's give it a try.
Last bite.. nooooo! I wanna bottle this experience and open it up in another year, darnit!
Ok - now I wish I had a hundred of these things.
1st bite... hmm tastes ok.. actually.. kinda good! hmmm

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:46 pm

Chocolate Nut Bar's nuts started going rancid within the more recent months/years. Sadly, I could not eat it as it made even the chocolate bar part taste stale and rancid.
My apologies for the blurry picture.

Date code and Day # - August 22nd, 1988, Day # 5

Oddly enough, S.A. Ratpacks are coded by the day instead of the ever-common menu # so Day 1 upwards on however menus they had which was 6 or more.
This was a ton of fun - thank you again, Kats!
wash em' out and save them for display!
Rust made a hole in the Fish & Vegetables - no wonder it smelled awful!!
What a shame this rare relic was no longer edible - I kept the wrappers on these two bars and will re-seal them with a small piece of wood or something in the same shape. I kept the cans as well which is in the next pic.
Break it open & see what it's lookin' like
Up next: Chocolate Nut Bar
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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:08 pm

Just trying to get the last of that Orange Drink in there was a chore!
The drink pouches are very awkward and I can imagine were getting Troop's drinks spilled all over their BDU's. These are even worse than Hot Beverage Bags! What were they thinking? I can only picture it to house a Gold Fish on the drive home from the local pet shop.
It says to "Burn with the wrapping" I understand why - this thing is more dense than old Hexamine tabs - they must be a pain to get lit.
Smells like Pineapple and something else that reminds me of when I was a little kid. Just cannot understand how Rations manage to do that - I think it was maybe a fruit drink I had when I was a little kid or something, but this reminds me of something but I can't remember.
I really enjoyed the Exotic Fruit Drink in the other Ration I had.. I want to compare - this means I get to try the Exotic Fruit Drink again.. I can tell ya already there is no comparison. Exotic was so much fresher and more enjoyable.
Smells of a nice citrus tone sweet cross between Tang & Kool-Aid. Sadly it also has undertones of expired B-6 and somehow has a slightly chlorinated flavor too. I am actually curious if there is something in it that was added as a mild decontaminate of sorts. It seriously tastes like if you blended drink mix with Chlorine treated water.

I could only drink half of it.
Ol' Oxygen still managed to get to it - who cares? I'm drinking this anyway! Sugar and ascorbic acid cannot house anything all that dangerous - now I refuse to mess with it when it's caked into large chunks or solidified whole blocks.. it DOES become slightly toxic by that point and it progressively loses it's sweetness, and the ascorbic acid & spoiled pyridoxine hydrochloride(B-6) (a common supplemental B Vitamin additive to many powder drinks since the 40's) along with the old food coloring create this chlorine sorta flavor that resembles what I could imaginatively compare to pool water mixed with expired Tang.

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:23 pm

Black Currant Glucose Tablets from the SADF Ration Day #5

I will be trying one of the cheeses tomorrow and I am curious of the strawberry drink mix and porridge. I am sure they are both no longer edible - I have gotten ill more than one time from old dried milk now or old dried dairy in general.

With that being said - I will be careful IF I decide to open them. But I already have my work cut out for me restoring the two energy bar wrappers with a rectangular hunk of clay or something (For presentable display) - that Rum Raisin bar's wrapper got pretty torn up accidentally whilst opening it.
Black Currant Glucose Tablets. Kinda reminds me of these Dextrose Tabs I had in a 2009 DoP Dutch Ration I had back in 2013. I always enjoy stuff like this, I feel the most comparable US Ration item to this or any Dextrose Tabs is the Food packet General Purpose Survival's Wintergreen Mints. Not the flavor of course, but the consistency and base of the tablet.
Food coloring is slightly off. Makes it more exotic! ;)
Lightly acidic - lightly sweet. I enjoy the subtle Black Currant flavor, but I feel it could use a little more flavor extract.. like 3x more and a little more sour. But hey, I'm not going to complain.

Only trying the one tablet - resealed it and keeping for display

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by Norton » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:49 pm

Great review nd I remember in the mid 1990's the Sportsmen's guide would sell the SA rations and I thought about buying some for camping. As they would have been only 7 years old I think they would have still been fairly fresh after seeing your review.
It looks like a cross between the last of the MCI and MRE components. The drink bags look like a recipe for disaster. Understand the concept, but the won't work. Maybe for a survival kit, not not a combat ration pack
The beef steak and beans look like a Korean War entree, fish and Vegetable does not sound appetizing, but looks ok.
assume if you had it with crackers it would be a filling lunch

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:29 am

Thankyou for the feedback, Norton! And man - I woulda tried at least one od those SADF's from Sportsmans Guide but who woulda known? Sportsmans had HDR's for cheap at one point I think in like 08'. Or was that Cheaperthandirt? oh well.

Yep - Drink bags were kinda silly in this SADF Ratpack, and yessir that Beefsteak & Beans almost looks like something from some vintage early era C Rats or something.

Got a partial review of a Slovenian and also a full review on a 2009 DoP Russian IRP coming up next! Oh, and a 2009 RCIR.

I actually think the odd 1991 Ration I posted up on page 5 on this thread is not Dutch but actually Belgian.
I will provide more photos of those 2 Rations within a week as well.
2014-08-08 13.26.34.jpg
2009 RCIR
2014-08-23 04.33.25.jpg
2010 Slovenian
2009 DoP Russian IRP Coming up soon

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by housil » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:58 am

Thank you Steve for that review and all these many and great pictures!

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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:04 am

Thank you guys for all your kind words and support!

Ok, back again with a Chinese PLA Ration DoP February 2011.

First off, I couldn't read a thing off this pack other than the actual title on the front indicating it was a self heating meal.. the only English on the pack if I remember correctly - the photos will jog my memory as well. I can say this too - this was a pretty simple and straight to the point Ration. Only 2 entrees, 1 FRH for each (2 heaters in each instead of the MRE's single heater.. this was interesting and certainly more efficient on making the entrees nice and hot!), a small packet of a spicy nut (not sure of peanut or almond they were small bits)soy sauce, 1 spoon, a small napkin, and the water measuring pouch so you don't put too much water in the FRH.

The first entree I prepared was a white rice, pork, and what seemed like a sortof seaweed or green vegetable that I couldn't quite identify. By itself, it was bland - but then I added that spicy soy sauce and it was not too bad! Still not perfect or even close to one of the better Ration entrees I've had - but it was still mild, pleasant, and with that sauce - somewhat enjoyable and it added some complex spicy & nutty undertones!

The second entree was a fried rice, Pork, and a potato-like constancy food and I think it is a root - maybe Wai San or Taro. It was delicious and really could be a nice replacement to the ever common potato. This dish was far superior to the first one presented and I am glad I saved the sauce for the other entree for it needed it - this one did not.

Both of the entrees had a very moist and slightly chewy and gelatinous consistency - they were palatable and would certainly be a sufficient Ration albeit the lack of a beverage power or any snacks of sorts. It gets right to the "business" and feeds the Chinese PLA troops with what is a relatively efficient and simple feeding method - leaving out anything that is unnecessary. If I were a PLA Soldier, I'd personally be wanting an MRE over this any day of the week, still! I think "our guys" have it a little better.

I want to thank Rebraunjr for providing this Ration to me last year - and I need to message him about something because I had recently found a message from him in my ebay inbox that was sadly overlooked. If you are reading this, I hope you are doing well and hope to talk to you again someday. :)

As for everyone else that reads this, thank you for checking out my reviews and all your continuous support. I couldn't do it without you guys - you're my main motivation (plus I gotta say, I really do have The Passion for the Ration.. ;) )

Thanks guys, and I hope you have a great day/evening!

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Check mark next to letter b indicates this is the listed menu. Wish I knew Chinese so I could translate for you guys.
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Pouring indicator: fill water in between lines and then pour into your FRH it is a perfect measurement!
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Small packet with the # 10 on it is the spicy sauce. that stuff saved the first reviewed entree!
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Re: Steve's International Ration Thread

Post by steve1989 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:22 am

Continued pictures of the PLA Ration DoP February 2011.
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The water measurement pouch is a nice touch to ensure not over-filling the FRH w/ water
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DoP February 2011
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Heater works perfectly
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First entree still in pouch
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The first entree just out of the pouch.
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Spicy sauce smells like a pleasant cross between soy sauce and peanuts. It tasted absolutely marvelous! Complex spices and nutty undertones.
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