June 30, 2013

MRE Week day 7: chicken pesto pasta

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So here we are on the last night of MRE Week, and I've saved the best for last.  My final dinner is the "official" military version, which came in different packaging with the Seal of the Department of Defense.  The wording on the package also prompted a friend of mine to make fun of me by calling me a "warfighter"...

What made tonight even more special was that I was joined by Tigger, the person responsible for my punishment this week.  He happened to be close by and I thought it would be only fitting that he witnessed the last meal.

Tonight's package contained the following:

I knew this was the good stuff!  While some of the items look similar to the "civilian" version, there were definitely some things that I felt were upgraded for the military package...

Main dish: Chicken pesto pasta

Side dish: Mango peach applesauce

Snack #1: Wheat snack bread

Snack #2: dessert powder for vanilla pudding

Cheese spread with bacon

Drink powder for orange-flavored drink

Flameless ration heater

Of course there were also seasonings as well as the MRE spoon.

So I indulged Tigger a little, letting him take a video while I used the flameless heater to heat up my main course... Sigh...

Chicken pesto pasta - well, the second I tore open the pouch I could smell the pesto.  At least it ain't false advertising.  Taste-wise... about what I expected.  The chunks of chicken were overcooked and tough.  The pesto tasted alright, but it was a far cry from anything fresh like Harlan's version at Gold...  Lots of olive oil sitting at the bottom of my plate...

Sauvignon Blanc is meant to work well with pesto, although I was tempted to get a bottle of Pinot Grigio just because it's eye-talian...  The 2012 Terra Vega Sauvignon Blanc Reserva was flinty, a little oaky, surprisingly no pipi de chat, lemon.  Slightly ripe on the palate, and a little bitter on the finish.  OK for HKD 59 a bottle.

Mango peach applesauce - YES!!! This was soooo much better than just plain old apple sauce!  I could definitely taste both the mango and the peach.  Yum.

Wheat snack bread, served with cheese spread with bacon - finally, a savory spread for the bread!  Tigger was joking that anything that came out of a packet would be sub-Velveeta... Well, this has got some smoky bacon flavor on top!  I happily chomped away at my new treat, but somewhere along the line it all got to be a little too much.

First of all, this was just too damn salty.  I needed to drink either the wine or my Tang to be able to take the next bite.  They also gave us too much of the spread.  Whereas there was only 1 ounce of jam or jelly earlier in the week, there was a whole 1½ ounces of this cheese spread.  That means the spread/bread ratio was all wrong, and I ended up having too much spread on top of my bread.  Believe me, when someone like me - whose motto is "I'd like some bread with my butter, please" - says there's too much cheese spread, you know these guys went overboard.

Vanilla pudding - this was made by pouring 4 ounces of water into the packet, then shaking it for about a minute.  I knew that by not having beaten the mixture with a fork or a whisk, there were bound to be clumps of powder in the pudding, and sure enough...  I gotta say it's been about 20 years since I last tasted the artificial vanilla flavors from a "vanilla pudding mix"... and I wouldn't mind if my next tasting is in another 20 years...

I was totally stuffed.  They weren't kidding when they said that the full military versions had more calories!  Finally talley?  1,330 calories, with 410 calories coming from fat.  That cheese spread alone had 180 calories with 150 of them from fat...

Well, I'm glad it's all over and I don't have to eat any more of these.  Some final thoughts:

- definitely don't get any chicken
- if you wanna get beef, get something you know that comes with ground beef or it's made into a patty.  Beef chunks can be just as tough as chicken chunks
- those snacks and drink get repetitive

Best meal of the week: I think the chili macaroni, served with Santa Fe style rice and beans would edge out the jalapeno jack beef patty for top honors.  Gotta say I was happy to eat both of those meals.  The chicken pesto pasta tonight was alright.  The others... probably never wanna see them again.

Thanks to Tigger for hanging out with me for this last meal, and sorry about the dent in Mrs. Tigger's car door...

Thanks to Vitz for coming up with the idea for this project, even though he didn't follow through with the execution.

Finally, thanks to my roommate Eric for sending this great package over from the States.  A very generous gift.  I'm sure you've eaten more than a few of these in your 20 years in the military...


scubagolfer said...

A MRE Week - that must've been a First among all foodie bloggers around the world - wondering what's your first meal after this ^^

Peech said...

nothing special really... my first lunch was steamed pork patty with salted fish over rice at my cha chaan teng downstairs...


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