1988 German EPA Type IV

Reviews of rations from abroad - British ration packs, EPA, IMP, RCIR, etc.
SentientTootsieRoll
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Spokane, WA, US

1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby SentientTootsieRoll » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:50 pm

Greetings! I was exploring eBay last week and happened across this German Einmannpackung Typ IV ration from 1988. I thought the price was very agreeable so I couldn't turn this one down. I had to buy it and document it. Let's dig in!

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First off, I notice a lot of similarites with the current production EPA ration. A lot of the components look the same or very similar. Let's see what we've got...

- 2x Fertiggericht (literally translates to "TV dinner")
- 2x Hartkeks
- 2x Spread
- 2x Jam
- 2x Coffee extract
- 2x Tea extract
- 4x Sugar
- 2x Coffee whitener
- 2x Instant fruit drink
- Chocolate bar
- Wrigley's P.K. Chewing gum
- 8x Water treatment tablets
- Multipurpose paper
- Moist towlette
- Matches

You can see that something has opened up over time and caused a bit of a mess. Upon further investigation, it turns out that the chocolate was culpable. Never trust chocolate. Let's keep looking.

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To be continued...

SentientTootsieRoll
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Spokane, WA, US

Re: 1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby SentientTootsieRoll » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:51 pm

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SentientTootsieRoll
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Spokane, WA, US

Re: 1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby SentientTootsieRoll » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:53 pm

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SentientTootsieRoll
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Spokane, WA, US

Re: 1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby SentientTootsieRoll » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:55 pm

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SentientTootsieRoll
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:26 pm
Location: Spokane, WA, US

Re: 1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby SentientTootsieRoll » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:28 am

Hoo boy, what a lot of pictures! I decided to boil the ready-to-eat meal in hot water. It did a pretty good job warming it up. My first challenge was figuring out how to open the packaging up. I guess it would've helped to follow the RTFM rule, so that's precisely what I did. The instructions suggested that I use a knife to open it. The smell that came out was amazing to say the least, it smelled somewhat alcoholic in nature, almost like the entree had cooking wine in it. As you saw, it looked like some sort of goulash, I can't find any indication on the packaging that would tell me what the meal was exactly. I had high hopes given the smell and sight, so I took a small bite at first. Much to my chagrin, It tasted very sour, so much so that I had to spit it out. Darn! I guess you can't win all the time. I spared the other entree since they appear to be the same. If I ever do decide to open it, I will report back here with more information.

Next I decided to try the hartkeks. I had a 2013 EPA recently and I really enjoyed the hartkeks in that so I was pretty anxious to try these. As I opened the packaging, a weird smell came from it. It smelled like bad peanuts from an expired US Halal MRE. But the taste was pretty good! It tasted like an animal cracker but with less sugar. Hurray! So it was time to open the jam! As you saw, it looked like the jam had dried out over the years. I was hesitant at first, but I decided to dig in regardless, because I've never had a bad experience with aged fruit. It actually tasted passable, so I finished it and I'm happy to report that I'm still alive and well. I enjoyed the first package of hartkeks so much so that I just had to open the second one. I told myself to keep it around for posterity but I couldn't help myself. Upon opening, the same thing happened, an awful odor emitted from the packaging but I didn't think much of it since the last one was just fine. The second package had gone bad. I have no idea how or why. As far as I know, they followed the same recipe, so what could have caused the second package to go bad? They were very sour, bitter and tasted exactly like those expired peanuts I explained earlier. Any theories as to why one package survived and the other did not are certainly welcomed.

I'm not a big fan of pork so I was pretty scared to do so much as open the liverwurst, but I did anyway. It didn't look too good and didn't smell like much. It even appeared to have mold growing from it. Let's try the headcheese. I've never had headcheese and the very name scares me a bit. It turned out to be very watery and had a strong vinegar-like smell. I had to toss it.

The coffee was still good. It's very reminiscent of the type I coffee from the 1980s MREs, so naturally it tasted fine. The creamer left much to be desired as it had solidified over time. So it was just coffee and sugar for me. I still haven't had the tea but I felt the packaging and it felt okay. I may try it at a later date. The fruit drinks were both very enjoyable and sour! I've heard Germans like sour food and drinks so that wasn't much of a surprise to me.

The chocolate, as you can see, didn't survive. I believe it was what made a huge mess in the ration. I took a few small bites and it tasted like compromised M&Ms from an old MRE. It just had that dusty, dirtlike flavor and texture. While I'm sure I wouldn't have gotten sick eating the rest of it, it simply didn't taste very good. I was pretty excited to try the gum. I've heard a lot of good things about Wrigley's P.K. around these parts, but I've never tried it before. I've never seen it in stores so naturally, I was looking forward to it! It had discolored over the years, but I had some of it and it tasted good. It was very minty, more so than my personal gum of choice, Doublemint. I have the P.K. right here in front of me and as I type this, I can't stop reaching for more! If I ever see some in stores, I will make sure to pick some up.

I decided to store the water treatment tablets away for emergency use. The multipurpose paper and plastic bags at the bottom of the ration had vestiges of chocolate all over them so I couldn't put them to much use. The moist towelette was dried up and I couldn't use that for much other than wiping my spoon off. The matches were still good! I like how they package them up. They did it the same way in the 2013 EPA I had. I don't really like that style of matches, they a bit more difficult to light and tend to break easily when striking. I'm sure I'll find a use for them.

Well, this was a pretty fun ration to explore. Although almost none of the components survived, I can't tell you I expected any different from a near 30 year old ration.

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housil
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Re: 1988 German EPA Type IV

Postby housil » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:06 am

Thx for sharing these pictures and risking your life to see if anything of it is still edible Image

SentientTootsieRoll wrote: As you saw, it looked like some sort of goulash, I can't find any indication on the packaging that would tell me what the meal was exactly.


The containers said "italienisches Nudelgericht" ("Italian style noodle dish" (= meat sauce))
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This is how it looked usually:
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In this Typ IV, the "Erbseneintopf" (pea stew) got replaced by a second Italian noodle dish for some reason.


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