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Yeah the freeze dried fruit wasn't too bad. The freeze dried mystery met patties were horrible no matter how you tried to fix them.
You mean the cardboard and sawdust mystery meat patties!
 

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Well, I enjoyed most MREs starting with the dark brown baggies in the 80s (loved the pork and beef patties) through the 2010s. The only ones I would avoid eating were the scalloped potatoes and the halal veggie meals.

Otherwise, I was good with whatever I pulled out of the box.
 

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C rations and Mre’s were a feast. I know there are a few of us who remember LRP rations. Which were freeze dried. The problem with freeze dried food is you need water and in RVN the water sucked. So, you had to add iodine tablets, which
Gave all your meals a very unpleasant aftertaste. So you wind up with food that Sucked with an aftertaste.
 

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C rations and Mre’s were a feast. I know there are a few of us who remember LRP rations. Which were freeze dried. The problem with freeze dried food is you need water and in RVN the water sucked. So, you had to add iodine tablets, which
Gave all your meals a very unpleasant aftertaste. So you wind up with food that Sucked with an aftertaste.
And we were still being issued the old freezer dried rations till 1992. And yes the worst were the freezer dry mystery meat patties (pork or beef). And even after they improved the MRE's, they still to this day include the hard tack AKA crackers that will give you cotton mouth for a week.

And I'll still take the freeze dried mystery meat patties over chicken/turkey ala death.
 

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If I remember right, when MREs first came out, they made something like a chicken loaf. If was so dry that without a canteen of water you couldn't swallow it.

The worst thing they ever put it C-rations was the fruit cake, it was awful. I think the only time I ever ate one was in Ranger School when I was starving and I just wanted anything in my stomach.
Come on. Rangers can eat anything, or so I hear.
 

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The secret to enjoying c-rats is two fold. First, fill one ammo pouch with the condiments of your choice. I carried soy sauce and hot sauce, salt and pepper. 2. I also purchased the very small butterfy heater with thr fuel tablets. Very convenient. Otherwise, place the can on a vehicle or generator manifold. Worked like a charm.
 
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Yes the first MRE's that came out were all freeze dried. The original ones issued during Vietnam were known as LRRP rations. We still had the freeze dried MRE's in the system up to 1991 or 1992. By 93 we didn't see too many of the old freeze dried meals anymore. And no matter what you did, they mystery meat patties were nasty. You did not dare eat them dry and they weren't very good when reconstituted in water. The freeze dried beef and pork patties were like the crackers (but worse) in that they would give you cotton mouth for a week straight.
 

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I started out in the Air Force working on F4s and got to eat c-rats in basic in 1982 at the range and IIRC at the obstacle course. They were actually good and we were told they were cleaning them out of the system to make room for the new stuff, which would have been the early MREs. When I swapped to the Army in 85, we had the dark brown bag MREs and I actually did a PLF with a pack of crackers in my cargo pocket, landed on them, and when we left the drop zone to wait for the trucks, I opened them and they weren't even broken. I ate them with some cheese while waiting. I used to eat the pork patties in the field and then when I burped I could taste it the rest of the day. I started taking ramen noodles, crushing them, sprinkling the seasoning on them and eating them dry. Then I would drink some water and they would keep me full for hours. I liked the old "John Wayne bars" alright that they had before they started adding real candy towards the end of the 80s but they weren't my favorite. The dehydrated fruit wasn't bad either.

When my unit got to Saudi in Aug 1990, we had newer MREs but everyone was getting sick so they told us not to eat any with the egg products, like the omelette. Apparently the boxes were sitting in the sun at the port where we were waiting for our equipment, boiling/cooking in the packages for hours and when we opened them, they were horrible...all of them.

Once we got our tanks and got out in the desert, it wasn't so bad. My favorites were ham slices with what was pretty good MRE bread (bread I never saw again before retiring in 2007), and the spaghetti meal. I would heat the spaghetti up either on the back deck or by my heater outlet, add the cheese and crushed crackers, and it was damn good all things considered. We also had the same two t-rats whenever we got them. I think the good ones started being picked off back at the port and they kept sending the crappy ones forward until they reached us at the 24th ID on the border. After the war we went through the garbage of other units and were amazed at the stuff they threw away. Boxes of cereal, cookies, etc. Stuff we hadn't seen since we arrived. Garbage or not we ate it. I dropped from a fit 212lbs to a skinny 179lbs in Desert Shield and Storm. I didn't lose any weight in OIF.

When I went to OIF in 2003, the MREs were damn good compared to the 80s and early 90s and the contracted chowhalls were impressive compared to how we had eaten in Desert Shield/Storm, except for the 24 hour chowhalls set up for us to fatten us up before we came back. They also gave us a new uniform and desert boots (we had worn the Vietnam jungle boots and melted MRE plastic over the drain holes to keep out sand), so we would look good getting off the plane back in the U.S. I have to say that for the most part as I served from 82-07, food became a priority compared to when I started.

My oldest who went through basic in 2019-2020 at Ft Sill to be an Army Reserve Combat Medic, said they rarely ate MREs and he was told that on deployments they don't let troops live on them for months at a time like we did almost exclusively from late Aug 90 through Mar 91.
 

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When I first joined they had T-Rats they weren't individual meals they came in something the size of a cake pan and the mess hall would ship them out to the fields and in theory you put them in boiling water for five minutes to heat them up then you open them up and you serve chow. In reality you ate them cold.

Anyway there was a breakfast T-Rat that I ate for two years that LOOKED LIKE scrambled eggs and sausage. It wasn't till I had KP and I got to open one that I found out it was Hominy Grits and sausage.
 
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