I chose to break this up according to the insert's guidelines. The insert itself translated fairly well. It identified the ration as being for mountain areas, and broke up the contents into breakfast, lunch, and dinner on one side. On the opposite side, it came with a set of warnings and instructions. Don't eat bulging or opened food, follow the instructions on each package, how much water to use with each purification tablet, etc. Below that was a breakdown of the calories, minerals, and vitamins in the ration. Curiously though, my ration did not have the multivitamin that it was supposed to contain.
You get ample heating gear in this one. There is a weather proof package of six individually sealed wind resistant matches and a striker. In Steve1989's video review of this same ration, he had asked if anyone knew why one match was green and the others were red. I've had a few of these packs of matches over time and they tend to be one or the other, red or green. I had one mixed pack that I recall like Steve's, but there is no difference between them. I'd chalk it up to a change in production at some point. Mine in this set were all green.
You also get a stove and three heating tablets. These things are my favorite tablet cooking setup included in a ration and there's one major reason for that. See the red blob on each of them in the picture? They're self striking! Sometimes striking matches and getting them to light a fuel tablet can be a pain. I've singed myself a few times trying to hold the tablet while lighting it too, so a self striking one is a nice simple approach. The stove and tablets are for boiling water with each meal for the porridge sides and hot drinks.
Last but not least, you get two Russian flameless ration heaters in this ration. To my knowledge, this is the only Russian ration that provides chemical heaters. The MVD/Emercom/Army/Prison rations all have peel top soft metal containers or cans for the main meals, and tablet stoves to cook them. These heaters are for the pouched main meals - again a one of a kind right now among Russian rations. I wonder how similar the process is to our thermostabilization.
Breakfast was a huge meal compared to the other two on paper, but I'm assuming that it comes down to personal choice. For instance you get a gigantic package of apple jam, a package of chocolate nut spread, a can of processed cheese, and a package of pate all to go with the same amount of crackers as you get with lunch. Lunch on the other hand only comes with the pate according to the insert. Likewise, breakfast comes with coffee and tea, but dinner comes with neither. Dinner however is apportioned one of the three sugar packets, which leads me to believe that coffee/tea and apple-jam/canned-cheese/chocolate-spread are choices in the breakfast and that you're meant to pass the others on to a later meal.
- Cereal Grain Porrige with Beef
- Meat Pate (unknown primary ingredient, beef brains, pork fat)
- Rice Cereal Porridge <<Sweet-Tooth>>
- 2 Packages of Crackers
- 2 Dark Chocolate Bars
- Apple Jam
I have to say this looks great all laid out. It's a very big meal for sure - too much for me. I had missed breakfast and lunch, and I was very ready for a heavy breakfast (as dinner) so I got through a good deal of it at least. The sweet porridge was my favorite part of the breakfast. It was similar to oatmeal, but it was rice based. It was a good balance of sweet and salty, with white grape raisins mixed in. I had the first half as is, and the second half with the apple jam. The beef with grats was good, better than I had expected it to be. It's a fairly unique texture, and it takes some extra effort to chew it completely.
I had most of the crackers with the apple jam, a few of them with the meat and grains, and the rest with the meat pate. This wasn't the first time that I'd eaten cow brains. Once on a roadtrip I'd had the chance to try brains as a main course at a Mexican restaurant. As plenty of other folks have said before me, they're definitely very rich.
The dark chocolate bars were delicious. One of them had been up against the coffee cup while I was positioning and photographing the meal and partially melted - they're really fantastic warm so that was a nice extra.
With the rest of the breakfast, I had coffee (with sugar) and a glass of the juice. The coffee was far too sweet with a whole package of sugar mixed in. I should have added to taste instead of using a full pack.
- Goulash with Potatoes
- Liver Pate (beef liver, beef brains, pork fat)
- Soup with Rice with Meat
- Speadable Cream Cheese
- 2 Packages Crackers
- 1 Dark Chocolate Bar
Good old Russian lunch. Heavy, but good. The goulash had chunks of beef throughout, and was very similar in taste to a dinty more beef stew. I let some of the crackers soak in it and get soft. This was a very filling entree and with some crackers and a drink is about as much as I would normally try to eat. In this case though there was still so much more. The rest of the crackers I had with cheese spread (which I warmed for a few minutes first) and pate. The cheese was excellent warmed up. It spread easily and tasted very fresh still. Another pate with brains in it - another success!
The meal had one failure though in my opinion. I did not all care for the soup. It had a weak, but very unpleasant broth and the rice (I still don't quite know what this is, but it doesn't look like rice I'm familiar with) was a mushy texture. The tiny bits of meat in the soup were ok and in a pinch I'd just hold my nose and gulp it down for the calories.
The juice and tea were a good match to the meal. I had the tea with only half of the packet of sugar and enjoyed it much more than the overly sweetened coffee. Another dark chocolate bar finished off this meal with a semisweet touch.
- Mince Sausage
- Wheat Porridge with Meat
- 1 Packages Crackers
- 2 Dark Chocolate Bars
- Chocolate Hazlenut Spread
- Apricot Energy Bar
The dinner was perfect! It was a smaller sized meal than the first two, which makes sense if it's what you plan on eating in that gap between combat/evasion and sleep. The porridge was simple, filling, and just the right level of salty. It was closer to oatmeal, but salty and meaty... so very different than any oatmeal I've ever had Mince sausage is essentially spam. I cooked it until it was steaming hot and put it on top of a couple crackers. One of the nice sides of doing reviews is that you know things are going to sit a few minutes at least. In this case, by the time I was ready to actually eat, the crackers had soaked up a good amount of grease and were much better than normal.
The juice is just as good as the first two times, and the tea (as with the last time) is perfect with about half a packet of sugar (10g). This time arounnd the new cracker coverin' was the chocolate hazlenut spread. I'm glad that I chose this one for last. On the crackers, it was a sweet way to round out this fantastic Russian ration.