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(TwinCities.com)   Army colonel marks his retirement by opening a tin of C-Ration pound cake he got in Vietnam in 1973. His verdict? "Tastes just like it always did,"   (twincities.com) divider line 102
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7873 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jul 2009 at 2:45 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-07-25 12:45:17 PM
Enjoy your retirement botulism, colonel.
 
2009-07-25 01:01:51 PM
"Tastes like...victory. And potassium benzoate."

Come to think of it, I have a few old-time food things kicking around. There's the WW2 pack of Dentyne gum, which you could probably drive a nail with, ditto the unopened Mackintosh Toffee. But my favourite is the single square of chocolate in a frame; it was sent out to Canadian troops in South Africa for Xmas 1900. Looks like a little brown chunk of wax now.
 
2009-07-25 01:59:08 PM
My grandfather had saved a few World War 2 ration packs but ended up eating them during an extended power outage in the early 1960s.
 
2009-07-25 02:47:26 PM
Rusty Shackleford: "Tastes like...victory. And potassium benzoate."

Come to think of it, I have a few old-time food things kicking around. There's the WW2 pack of Dentyne gum, which you could probably drive a nail with, ditto the unopened Mackintosh Toffee. But my favourite is the single square of chocolate in a frame; it was sent out to Canadian troops in South Africa for Xmas 1900. Looks like a little brown chunk of wax now.


old stuff like that always amused me, kinda neat to see how the military ration has evolved over the years
 
2009-07-25 02:47:42 PM
Beef stroganoff MREs are farking awesome. Even after the storm.
 
2009-07-25 02:56:55 PM
Does it taste like Calorie Mate (new window)?.

/I am so sorry
 
2009-07-25 02:56:59 PM
"Do you know what happens to a butter-based frosting after six decades in a poorly-ventilated English basement?"


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2009-07-25 02:59:50 PM
RTFA subby... that verdict came not from the colonel but from a retired lieutenant general who was also there.

Still amusing, though.
 
2009-07-25 03:00:18 PM
Stay Cool Babylon: Beef stroganoff MREs are farking awesome. Even after the storm.

I had Chicken ala King twelve straight meals while during one stint in the field . It does not make for a good breakfast. I understand the MREs are A lot better since I've been out.
 
2009-07-25 03:02:19 PM
In the mid sixties, I was on a small ship stationed at Treasure Island, Cal. While preparing an unused hold for painting and updating, someone found an old case of sardines. I liberated one of the cans, which was dated from in the 40s. So, 20-year-old sardines tasted exactly the same as if they were bought only a week ago. I may just have to go open a new can now...
 
2009-07-25 03:10:08 PM
That pound cake was good with peaches.

I can remember that tasting like a banquet.
 
2009-07-25 03:13:17 PM
I was in the Army from 1986 to 1994 and was around as one generation of MRE's were phased out and a new one introduced. The old ones were shiat and the newer ones were a little less like shiat. About 6 months ago, I bought a few of the newest MRE's available and can't farking believe how much better they are than they were back then. People serving in the military now have no idea how good they have it.
 
2009-07-25 03:15:59 PM

Rusty Shackleford


But my favourite is the single square of chocolate in a frame; it was sent out to Canadian troops in South Africa for Xmas 1900. Looks like a little brown chunk of wax now.


I suspect it looked like a little brown chunk of wax when it was new. They would have needed it to be somewhat temperature-stable, so it probably would have been made with the additives, etc we see in less-expensive chocolate today.

(High-quality chocolate will melt as soon as you pick it up, which wouldn't be good for shipping or storage.)
 
2009-07-25 03:16:24 PM
Compared to what? The bubonic plague?
That cake's bad enough that you called me.
It's a psychopathic killer but so what?
There's plenty of them around.

static.guim.co.uk
/figures it's just what retired army colonels do
 
2009-07-25 03:21:03 PM
I think it was back in the 60s that my Dad produced a box of C rations from WW2. Apparently, he got them when on leave from the Navy, flying in those old prop driven Gooney Birds. The military handed them out to passengers as lunch since the trip was long.

It was a cardboard, olive green box with C-RATIONS stamped on it. I recall a tiny green tin of jelly, a sealed tin which contained gum, salt, pepper, napkin, matches (olive green, of course) and, I think, a punched metal spoon, knife and fork. There was the main tin for the main meal -- which I no longer recall what it was. Then a tin of round bread, a tin of scrambled eggs and bacon and maybe a tin of butter.

You needed the universal military can opener to get the tops off, and one was taped, if I recall right, to the box.

I do recall that the scrambled eggs and bacon looked like a solid, yellowish biscuit, but it smelled fine and tasted great.

I think I was 10. I just loved the C-rations. By the time I managed to find ways to get surplus C-rations (in my teens -- no Internet search and no Internet) they were popular with campers and too expensive for me.

By the time I thought of them again, as an adult, with my own money, they had been phased out, replaced by MREs, which were hard to get.

I could have gotten a bunch of 'survival food' designed for campers, but it wasn't the same. By 1998 -- the Y2K scare produced a whole mass of military style foods to carry you through the upcoming end of the world in 2000.

All of it rather expensive also.

I can find assorted military style foods on the Internet today, but no more C-rations. MREs are hard to find, because they're illegal to sell to the public.

I did get a case of them from a friend of mine, but the new plastic bags and plastic everything just isn't the same as those olive drab tin cans.

I think my Dad mentioned that some C-rations even came with cigarettes and chocolate sealed in tins. I don't know what they did for coffee, since instant hadn't been invented then.

Still, as a kid, it would have been a Great Adventure to go camping out in the woods with my WW2 mess kit, my WW2 surplus camp shovel, my GI tin canteen, a GI olive drab pup tent and C-rations for supplies.

That would have been kid heaven.

//Still carry a GI can opener on my keychain.
 
2009-07-25 03:21:04 PM
The Canadian Forces issues Individual Meal Packs (IMPs) and the most ghastly content is a cheese omelet universally known as "Lung In A Bag."
 
2009-07-25 03:22:23 PM
I have one of those, unopened, from World War II.
 
2009-07-25 03:28:38 PM

Rik01


I don't know what they did for coffee, since instant hadn't been invented then.


I believe the WWII GIs did have instant coffee.

*Googles*

Here ya go - Google Books result (new window)
 
2009-07-25 03:30:14 PM
Yep, I can second the "Lung in a bag" for grossest looking concoction going. But, warmed up on a snowmobile exhaust manifold when the ambient temperature is around minus thirty, it tasted edible. A buddy of mine, who served a stint with the Kiwis, said their rations are heavy (canned) and almost always mutton.
Those new (well, since I got out)american self-heating mre bags are pretty cool.

//off the lawn, get.
 
2009-07-25 03:34:06 PM
40below: The Canadian Forces issues Individual Meal Packs (IMPs) and the most ghastly content is a cheese omelet universally known as "Lung In A Bag."

Dear GAWD they STILL have those? A guy in my platoon would trade pretty much anything for one. He wouldn't even heat it up, just eat it out of the bag and then drink the 'juice' that it was packaged in... So I guess its safe to say that the CAF still has a contract with Magic Pantry. And to think, back in the 90's we'd trade one Canadian IMP for THREE American MRE's... And I STILL think the American stuff was better(ish)

/doesn't miss the military
 
2009-07-25 03:35:22 PM
It took me 6 months to get peanut-safe non-military MRE's. I haven't eaten one yet. They're for emergencies, dammit. and I don't mean when cable goes out.
 
2009-07-25 03:38:43 PM
When I was in Army ROTC in the mid 1980's, our detachment had to consume our allotment of C-rations from the Vietnam era before we could begin receiving the new MRE's. My first experience with this culinary delight was on a 3-day field training exercise at Camp Blanding, north of Gainesville, Fla. After running around playing GI Joe in near 100 degree heat in the north Florida palmetto forest, these C-rats tasted like a friggin' banquet. The weird thing was that we were eating stuff that was older than any of us. It made me appreciate the real soldiers who endured combat even more. Imagine getting shot at and then you get a rewarding can of shiat at the end of the day. Tough.

The first MRE's weren't so hot either. They were psychologically easier to eat because at least they had not been sitting around for 25 years, but Wolfgang Puck definitely had nothing to do with them. I'll never forget when we opened up the 1st case, our Sergeant Major said, "Come and get it boys! MRE's - Meals Rejected by Ethiopians!"
 
2009-07-25 03:38:46 PM
What, no pic of said can of pound cake? So i'm supposed to go and GIS an old C-Ration pound cake to see what one would look like, by myself? Lazy farking article.
 
2009-07-25 03:42:57 PM
Dvring the Peloponnesian War I was a rower on a troop-transport barge which was svnk in the Agean Sea. The driftwood that I clvng to brovght me into a cove where a galleon (Svmerian, if my history classes are well remembered) had been rvn agrovnd. Bvried in the hold were amphorae of lamb, preserved in olive oil. In spite of years of exposvre on the rocky coast, the jvgs were still mostly intact and their preciovs cargo was still qvite edible. I feasted for many months vntil I was rescved.

/trve story
 
2009-07-25 03:47:24 PM
 
2009-07-25 03:52:31 PM
"MREs are hard to find, because they're illegal to sell to the public.
"

Huh? You mean aside from on ebay, army navy stores, and camping stores theyre hard to find? Where are you looking?
 
2009-07-25 04:04:48 PM
I was in the service in the late '70s and C's weren't that bad IF you knew how to mix and match them. You just learned to grab peoples left overs and mix things up. Eggs and the cheese? bing! an omelet.

oh and a lot of Tabasco
and A-1
and ketchup
 
2009-07-25 04:09:38 PM
Bill_Wick's_Friend

Dvring the Peloponnesian War I was a rower on a troop-transport barge which was svnk in the Agean Sea. The driftwood that I clvng to brovght me into a cove where a galleon (Svmerian, if my history classes are well remembered) had been rvn agrovnd. Bvried in the hold were amphorae of lamb, preserved in olive oil. In spite of years of exposvre on the rocky coast, the jvgs were still mostly intact and their preciovs cargo was still qvite edible. I feasted for many months vntil I was rescved.


img529.imageshack.us

He was there too, he can smell a battle field you know.

/trve story
 
2009-07-25 04:09:59 PM
When I was in boy scouts in the 70's one of my friends had a vietnam vet dad who would make my friend bring old C-rations to eat on camping trips instead of fresh food. The rest of us would bring extra to cover him, & one day we found out what happens when you toss a can of C-rations into a fire. After the first explosion, we knew we had something, so we'd go to other troop's camps, while talking to them one of us would toss the can into their fire. Then we'd go back to the wood & wait for the fun. Man, it scared the crap out of a lot of scout campers.
 
2009-07-25 04:18:16 PM
NHmike: MRE's - Meals Rejected by Ethiopians!"


Also known as: Meals Refusing to Exit. I've also heard them called Happy Meals.
 
2009-07-25 04:20:34 PM
TheShavingofOccam123 2009-07-25 03:47:24 PM
c-ration cookbook and pics of wwii and vietnam c rations.

Thank-you. *sniffle*
 
2009-07-25 04:21:55 PM
I lived on base for most of my "tender years" and c-rats were at the time a precious commodity, K-rats were common at the time ( see the wiki entry on them for more info ) we loved the k-rat cereal bars ,but how anyone could have expected a front line troop to survive on them was, and still is, a mystery to me. we usually ate up to 3 times the "daily allotment" to keep going.

i'll second the notion that MREs are vastly better then either c-rats or k-rats, but have heard that extended use with plug you up worse then a concrete enema.
 
2009-07-25 04:31:26 PM
I submitted this yesterday with a better headline.
 
2009-07-25 04:32:08 PM
What a C-ration pound cake may look like
www.olive-drab.com
hotlinky
 
2009-07-25 04:34:18 PM
gopher321: Enjoy your retirement botulism, colonel.

Nah, as long as the can's still in good condition, C-rations are good for decades, if not longer. :) If it's banged up, such that the can seams are damaged, sure, one order or food poisoning coming right up. Generally, although C-rations were bland, they are real(ish) food, and it's easy to tell if it's bad. Unlike MREs, whose packaging thankfully is much more durable.

I take them camping all the time (as long as I'm not doing much hiking -- that shiat's heavy!), because they're a shiat-ton cheaper than MREs at the surplus store. You can generally tell before you open it whether it will be OK or not, because it takes a good bit of banging around before the seams give out.
 
2009-07-25 04:37:05 PM
Your_Huckleberry: Stay Cool Babylon: Beef stroganoff MREs are farking awesome. Even after the storm.

I had Chicken ala King twelve straight meals while during one stint in the field . It does not make for a good breakfast. I understand the MREs are A lot better since I've been out.


They have, but there's always going to me two or three meals per case that are absolutely farking terrible.

Fortunately, there's always one weirdo in the platoon who loves them, and you can always trade with him.

Horrible: Country Captain Chicken, Veggie Omelet, and the Thai Chicken. I never understood why the Veggie Omelet came with "Hash Browns With Bacon."

/Got stuck with the Vegetarian Manicotti something like nine times in a row.
 
2009-07-25 04:39:43 PM
Stay Cool Babylon: Beef stroganoff MREs are farking awesome. Even after the storm.

Well...eh. I was in the army once upon a time, so I've had my fill of the damn things, if we're talking choice. Now FEMA boxed breakfasts, on the other hand...mmmm...(real) bacon and pancakes. Katrina and Gustav made sure I still have plenty of them to this day in my storm kit. I'll pass on the can-flavored water, though. I freeze gallon-jugs full of water if a storm is coming in, then I have extended deep-freeze functionality when the power goes out, and cold water as the jugs melt. :)

Truth-In-Advertising: What a C-ration pound cake may look like

Heh, yeah. The joke, back in the day, was that they should have been labeled, "FIVE-POUND CAKE."
 
2009-07-25 04:42:00 PM
Sgt Otter: /Got stuck with the Vegetarian Manicotti something like nine times in a row.

...which is why this coon-ass thanked GAWD that they put the Tabasco vials in there.

/also helped with the inevitable MRE field constipation...which is not fun after the 5th day or so
//POOP THREAD
 
2009-07-25 04:50:28 PM
Chili Mac MRE FTW!
 
2009-07-25 04:55:03 PM
Does he still have the watch?
 
2009-07-25 04:55:14 PM
The hot dogs in the MREs were absolutely disgusting and the chili and macaroni would make you have the WORST gas ever! The beef ravioli was the best as I recall. Unfortunately, this is all I can remember from basic training back in 2001.

Nice find on the article, subby!
 
2009-07-25 04:58:30 PM
 
2009-07-25 04:59:39 PM
I don't miss the military, but I do miss the heated up eggs doused in tobasco sauce...
 
2009-07-25 05:02:29 PM
Dangerzone1223: The hot dogs in the MREs were absolutely disgusting...

FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH!!!
 
2009-07-25 05:02:37 PM
He's gonna' get those ole' time Army runs too, if he's lucky.

very foolish.


.........your grandfather gave me this watch.......i hid it up my asss for damn near two years.....
 
2009-07-25 05:02:59 PM
vertiaset: That pound cake was good with peaches.

Came here to say that.

Stay Cool Babylon: Beef stroganoff MREs are farking awesome.

Meh. The tortellini was my pick for "most awesome MRE".

scotty425: Also known as: Meals Refusing to Exit.

Been there.

/No one has mentioned the "five fingers of death" yet; have they been phased out?
 
2009-07-25 05:03:46 PM
Should have F5ed.

/Thanks Sgt. Otter!
 
2009-07-25 05:06:02 PM
Also - I forgot to mention - when we were eating up our allotment of C-rats, we got our drinking water out of one of those potable water trailers called a "water buffalo", basically just a gigantic keg of water on wheels that could be towed behind a jeep. So anyway, here we are, it's 100 degrees and we are eating this 25 year old stuff and the water buffalo pulls up so we can fill our canteens.

The water was well water and in that part of north Florida the well water has a very high sulfur content so it smells like rotten eggs.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like C-rations and warm, stinky, rotten egg water. That is a meal you never forget.

/I also seem to remember the boxes came with small packets (like kool-aid packets) that you cold add to your canteen. Either that, or someone brought them - warm rotten-egg fruit-punch water. Nasty.
 
2009-07-25 05:07:10 PM
I feel old.

I should probably add a little history, since fark is the place to put this kind fo shiat, since the truth sometimes gets edited out of wiki.

The eggs sucked as did most everything, except beans w/sausage or spagetti. (Sure, the other stuff was edible, but think about eating nothing but cold spam for days.)Think - high salt, high fat content. Usually, the crappy meals would have the desirable second course, like fruit or pound cake. The thing about it, fruit and pound cake taste ok alone, but great together. They never came together, so you would trade the good meals for them.

Everyone liked John Wayne bars and disliked the "cracker" and "jelly".

The ration "boxes" came in cases that were assorted. The contents of the rations were printed on top, so they would open the case upside down, so you couldn't pick, it was a lottery.

Things were ok if you found room in your ruck for an onion and a bottle of tabasco.
 
2009-07-25 05:11:59 PM
NHmike: /I also seem to remember the boxes came with small packets (like kool-aid packets) that you cold add to your canteen. Either that, or someone brought them - warm rotten-egg fruit-punch water. Nasty.

Awww, yeah. Try taking a shower or canary dip in rotten-egg-water. You never feel clean, because it smells like you just shiat on yourself after you're done drying off.

On the plus side, though, your field-shaving cuts always coagulated quite nicely.
 
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