MRE's and T-Rats

Junior Burger
2004/07/14 14:45:40
What is everyone's favorite MRE or T-Rat. I know no one wants to admit they actually had one they liked, but we all do. Through my time in the army my tastes for MREs has changed, at first I just went for the ones that had skittles or M&Ms. For the MRE I'd have to go with the Chicken and Noodles, came with the figbar and raspberry applesauce. Luckily I was a command driver so me and my captain would ahve our own cases to dig through. The only thing he ever insisted on having was the Beef Enchilada. Wehn it comes to T-Rats, I'd have to go with the breakfast menu, that had the eggs with chopped up sausage links or bacon chunks. Then either top it with the gravy or a load of Pace Picante Sauce and mix it all up. As a side dish you gotta love Ranger Pudding........
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 15:57:34
Never experienced T-Rats and MRE's came in after my active-duty time....but I had the chance to check them out during my annual 2 week G I Vacation for many years. We keep two cases of MRE's in storage for emergency food in the event of some future disaster.
I would have to vote for the Pork BBQ and rice as the one least likely to cause problems. The Scrambled Eggs and Ham were about as bad as something can be
Double Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 16:14:10
While working in Alaska as an emergency forest fire fighter I got to experience MRE's. They really don't taste all that bad. My fave was the hot dogs and pineapple. I still have one of the mini bottles of tobasco that comes with them - it's so cute. I also liked the chocolate covered granola bar a.k.a sh*t brick. If you got an MRE with a Hershey bar inside - it was like winning the lottery. After a few days on the line you could trade that candy for just about anything you wanted. No matter which MRE you eat, you won't have a good BM for days (saltpeter)- they say the spoon inside has two uses - to spoon it in and to spoon it out. And the pathetic little toilet paper square - Well, this is a food forum, I won't go there.
Junior Burger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 16:28:33
Mayor, you must have some old MRE's have had the BBQ Pork and Eggs for at least 5 years ago. But the DoD recently approved new MRE meals, one of which is a cheese omlet, and not bad from what I've heard. They also don't put saltpeter in the MREs anymore. Guess they finally figured out taht natural body functions are....well natural. I'd always keep some extra MREs in my room, in case I didn't feel like going to the D-Fac or ordering something in. And at times I've been able to get MREs for camping trips. When me and a buddy of mine took a trip to Oktoberfest (I'm stationed in Germany) we took our rucks with a sleeping bag, camelback with water and two MREs. We were both running low on money and figured by the time the we paid for the train to Munich and a couple Heffes and Pils we'd be totally broke so we jsut planned on camping it out in a park. Took along the Spagehetti, which aside from the main meal is pretty crumy MRE and the Chicken and Salsa (which is better cold then heated IMHO.
Poverty Pete
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 20:34:13
I haven't had any of the newer versions, but I remember C-rats and K-rats. I recall eating tins of food in the far east in the late sixties that were dated as having been packaged during WWII. Some of it was so bad that instead of using the sterno to heat the stuff, we would mix a gob of it into the food itself.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 20:42:49
Our C-Rations in SEA in 62 had dates of 1944 and 1951...but so did the 12 ga ammo for my shotgun !! There were no favorites in the C-Ration cans.
If you appreciate the tiny Tabasco bottles, remember that one of the McIlhenny family was head of Marine Aviation in WWII and insisted that the sauce be included in Marine rations whenever possible. Rather than get in trouble for pushing his family's product, Marines loved the boost in flavor his sauce gave the flat rat
Double Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 21:07:28
OK...I can't be the only one...
What are MREs and T-Rats???
Poverty Pete
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 21:56:08
I am a real Tabasco supporter, thanks to the efforts of the McIlhenny's to provide, at no cost to the government, those tiny Tabasco bottles to the troops. Talk about supporting the troops!
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 22:11:52
i can't speak for T-Rats..They are the current field rations for the military I believe..But I'm just an old brown-shoe soldier...MRE's were introduced after my active duty term was long over. MRE stands for Meals Ready To Eat.. They came in a heavy plastic sealed bag with various contents that vary by menu and meal. Usually there is a main-dish, a fruit packet , crackers or cookies, an accessory packet with coffee salt sugar and the aformentioned Tabasco, gum or candy of some type and toilet paper
The one I referred to had a packet of Pork in BBQ Sauce with rice, a Packet of Applesauce, 4 crackers sealed in foil, kool-aid, grape jelly and peanut butter in the individual serving packet, and the accessory pack. They served as a meal for the individual soldier with about 2000 calories if I remember correctly (one of you young guys can change that if possible)
You can buy MRE's at most camper/hiker supply houses for 4-5 bucks a meal. Just check the expiration dates when you buy. There are a lot of 'old-food packets on the market.
Filet Mignon
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/14 23:47:58
I'm too old to have tried MRE's but I spent 26 years in the Navy and ate a lot of C-rats in my day (some of which were 25 years old at the time I consumed them--they don't improve with age like wine). I've always liked meatballs in any form and so the meatballs in tomato sauce C-rats were a fave. Pork in BBQ sauce mentioned above was also enjoyed. We used to barter and trade the various flavors in a pre-electronic version of E-bay. In my day, C-rats still came with cigarettes so, if you didn't smoke, you could barter those for more/better FOOD.

I also recommend the C-rat peanut butter when used for the purpose most people used it--to prevent the need to use field "facilities" during short trips away from indoor plumbing.

Junior Burger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/15 06:18:20
T-Rats are alot like MREs, only they're larger, basically for field messes (kitchens for the civilians). Esentially they're a large tub of whatever food that is being served that is boiled and then dished out. Sad to say but MREs are probably better then T-Rats in general. Like Mayor-Al said you can get MREs at some camping stores or Army surplus. If your looking for them at Camping stores I say spend the extra money and get the Civilian MREs, they're usually better.

BT - Don't know if the MRE peanut butter is the same style as C-Rat. About the best use I've learned for peanut butter is treating White Phosphorus burns, works great to cover it up, or so our medics have told us.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/15 07:43:50
I always liked the eggs and ham, and the beef"steak" C's. I liked the candy bar which was made by Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, PA. But I also used to sell or trade for eats the cigarettes which came in the box since I didn't smoke. And the Chiclets were great when you couldn't brush your teeth.

And rdb13b: you're right, the peanut butter worked as an antiseptic - it had so much oil in it.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/15 09:53:47
To get the true MRE or C-Ration experience you need to take a little time to get the appropriate ambience. Go out into your yard, or better yet, find an area downwind from a wastewater treatment facility. sit on the wet ground, cut open one of the bags with your fingernail clippers and chow-down. If you want them warmed up put the main-dish bag under your armpit and run around the yard 20 times ...or on the dashboard of your car on a summer day.
Like good BBQ, a lot of the success in recreating the good meal is in the atmosphere in which it is served.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/15 10:09:27
MREs and the like came along way after I was in the market for rations. I was lucky enough to get C-rations. They were so good I developed a fondness for kimchee.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: MRE's and T-Rats 2004/07/15 10:28:37
My husband was in Viet Nam and thus had the C-Rats and K-Rats. When he came home, he told me that he never wanted anything made from a dried mixture again, such as : mashed potatoes, gravy or anything powdered. For almost 35 years now, I have stuck by that and never served instant potatoes or any such mixture. Everything still comes from scratch at our house.