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Army meal FAIL!

The day began well enough. Breakfast was a good hearty cuppa, a hot chocolate that was quite good for coming from a powder, and a strange watery muesli.

A little later, lunch time. The tiny metal cooker folded easily to make a rather practical and to the point micro cooker. The fuel tablet lit easily from a single match and burned for maybe 10 to 15 minutes (I didn't time it). Certainly it chucked out a startling amount of heat and heated up the lunch tin's contents with time left over (perhaps enough to also heat up a metal mug of water?).

When it comes to things that are practical and do their job well, this micro cooker was an easy thumbs up.

The meal... less so. Opening it up shows the full horror of what lurked inside.

To be fair, these meals probably have to be made on a budget, and also one might be pretty damn appreciative of these things if stuck in the middle of some pile of sand that doesn't exist on any maps. But, you know, there is an expression "an army marches on its stomach" and I'm looking at whatever it is in this tin and wondering if this isn't the underlying reason of the oft-lampooned "French military defeats" and other stereotypic pejoratives. After all, if a person is willing to give their life to defend the honour of stupid politicians, shouldn't that person at least be rewarded with meat from actual recognisable animals? You can get some quite nice things in tins, just last night I had a lovely tin of tagliatelle in a rich basil sauce.
I was brave dumb enough to try some and it was about as pleasant as it looked. I guess I should have taken the hint when the cat had a sniff and then walked away.

So... we went into a nearby town (Sunday, a vide grenier no less!) and I decided a kebab meal with all the extras from a Turkish place (with a menu that appeared to be written half in Turkish) would be much more satisfying...

 

The next time you see a French soldier, take pity. The combat ration might be a complete and balanced diet for an active army person, but it makes me remember boarding school food with some degree of fondness in comparison.

Oh, and if you think I'm being overly harsh, that's because I also tried the caramels. If you want to know what I thought of those, take all of the rudest words you know (in the language(s) of your choice) and string them all together. That's how bad the caramels were. Or to put it another way, think of carnation condensed milk. Now think of leaving it past its expiry date, then mixing it with cheap tasteless icing sugar until it forms an unholy paste that would kill ants. Make it into small squares, wrap each one individually, then have the sheer audacity to pass off the result as "caramel" instead of "WTFisThisGunk".
Like I said, all the rudest words you know strung together. And even that is lacking, as far as appropriate responses go.

Also, like I said, the next time you see a French soldier, take pity. Any maybe offer some real caramel. And a tin of food where the contents resemble the picture on the label.

 

 

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VinceH, 15th April 2015, 00:17
In my yoof (some time around the cretaceous) I was in the ACF, and we sometimes had ration packs when out on weekends. I don't remember being anywhere near that bad. 
 
That could be a difference between British and French packs - but on the other hand, considering how long ago it was it's entirely possible that both were different back then, and both have been "improved" in the intervening period. 
 
There's a slight temptation to get hold of one to see - but it's not a big enough temptation, TBH.

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