Mar 30, 2012

ready to eat military vegetarian meals

I bought one of these my first year, in Korea. There are some places around that sell American military items, not really the interesting stuff I'm looking for, but they do have some vegetarian meal pouches!
This is the first one I tried, cheese tortellini, menu no. 13:
and its contents:
Crackers, peanut butter, cider powder, m&ms, cheese tortellini, spiced apple pieces, etc.
It was good, not amazing, but it's a vegetarian, military meal pouch, my expectations weren't high.

Now, about two years later, I decided to give another vegetarian meal pouch a try, this time, lasagna:
It's a thick plastic bag, that contains more plastic bags!
And the contents. Baby bottle of tabasco sauce!! Along with carrot pound cake, which I took one bite of and decided that it wasn't happening. If I was starving, or trapped somewhere without food, I would eat this. But essentially it's a dry brick imitation of baked goods. It also came with iced tea, hot cocoa, salt, matches, moist towelette, napkin, spoon, gum, mixed fruit, lasagna, peanut butter and crackers. No m&ms this time.

To "cook" the lasagne you need to put the lasagna pouch in the plastic bag with the special heating pad and then fill it with hot water. Give it time and then open and eat!
I decided to pour the lasagna out onto a plate. You know, make it slightly presentable... I took one bite and my first thought was "this tastes like beans." I read the ingredients and sure enough, I found re-fried pinto beans. It's not just any old vegetarian lasagna, it's re-fried bean lasagna!

I'm not crazy about canned fruit, so I figured it was best to skip the fruit pouch. But I did try the peanut butter and crackers.
 They were, shockingly, not stale. I'm not exactly sure how long this food lasts for or when it expires. Or how old it is, or any vital information like that really. All I know is, this is the second pouch I've tried and I have yet to feel any negative repercussions, aside from some unfortunate tastes.

So, it's probably not for everyone, or pretty much all non-military people. But when it's only 5,000 won, less than $5, and says vegetarian on it, it's hard to pass up. It's like those small surprise bags of candy I remember seeing as a kid. I knew that if I picked out what I wanted, for the same price the surprise packs cost, I would have more of what I liked. But it was always too hard turning down the surprise. This is like the surprise pack for vegetarian adults.

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