– I feel like I’m back
in high school chemistry. – Next time I go camping,
I’ll probably stock up on MREs. ♪ (accordion intro) ♪ – (FBE) First off, obviously,
we wanna thank our military members for coming in and shooting
this episode with us today. – Thank you. Thanks.
– Yay! – I’m an aircraft mechanic
in the US Air Force. And I’m about halfway
in my contract, about three years in. – Yes, I was in the army
for nine years. I was a food service guy.
I pretty much cooked the food and did my thing, you know, trained.
– Wow. – I was basically an analyst.
I worked in intel. I was in the military
for just shy of four years. And it was a great time.
I met some of my best friends in the military.
– I was young when I went in, very young. I was like 18
when I went on active duty. And the military, all branches,
I think, give young people so much responsibilities
that they’ve never had before in their life.
I am honored to have served, and God bless America.
– (FBE) We’re gonna share one aspect of what might be a part
of your experience with us today. We’re gonna be sampling
some MREs. – All right. My favorite. – Oh, boy. Are you in for a treat.
– Whoa. (laughs) – (FBE) MREs are self-contained
food rations that service members use in combat or in other situations
where there’s no food available. And today, you’ll get to try
the meals frequently listed as favorites from
those in the service. – Okay. Okay, good.
– Perfect. – I hope these people
are getting good food. – Like six kinds of dog crap probably.
But, you know, if they’re good enough for the people out–
– No, let’s be optimistic. – Let’s be optimistic.
Yeah, let’s do that. – Army, Marines,
they have MREs more. Air Force maybe get more
of the fancy food, but… – (chuckles)
– (FBE) Not a bad thing. – Not a bad thing.
– (FBE) For starters, we’ll see how you guys do in preparing this. – I’ll let you do the honors.
– Oh my– it’s literally in a bag. Menu six, vegetarian chili with beans.
They even got some vegetarian options. How nice.
– Usually, just peel it from the top. Or like he said…
– (laughs) – The scissors might help right now.
– The scissors. – There’s like a whole bunch
of stuff in here. What? – In other MRE pouches,
there’s cheese spread for crackers and peanut butter and jelly
and stuff like that, and that was like currency
in the military. – Oh, really?
– Be like, “Hey man, I’ll trade you two cheese packets
if you give me those cookies.” – It doesn’t look appealing.
Everything’s so– it’d be different
if it were color coded. Like, oh, the red, the–
everything’s just so vanilla and beige.
– This counts for a whole… – But does it feel like–
– …2,500-calorie meal in one thing. – So, what do we got?
– So, we got sugar cookies, toasted corn,
orange-flavored drink mix with vitamin C added.
– You need to try these crackers please.
– Crackers. – Yes. You need to try the crackers.
– And then– okay, we did that. We did that. We did that.
And then whatever this bad boy is here. What is this?
– That’s how you heat it up. – Oh, this is the flameless
ration heater. – What?
– No, leave that in. – Leave this?
– Yeah. Dump this inside the bag. – Okay. What the?
– And now, add water. – I’ll be the pourer, and you be the hold opener.
And tell me when… – (FBE) And then careful,
’cause it does get pretty hot pretty quickly.
– …it gets hot. I don’t know how it does that,
’cause the water isn’t– oh. – (FBE) Can you hear it?
– Yeah, it’s already bubbling. – It is crazy how chemistry works, right?
– Look, steam! Ah! – Is it getting hot?
(gasps) It’s getting warm. This is like black magic.
– (laughs) – I feel like I’m back
in high school chemistry with Mr. Pavonado.
– Yeah, this is very cool. – Now, fold.
– Fold. – Fold.
– Fold. – And let this thing heat up.
You’ll see the smoke come out soon. Yeah. In the meanwhile, you could
always open up these crackers. – If you didn’t like the main entrée,
you always got everything else in there, which is cool.
You got crackers and… – Toasted corn.
– …corn and the candy. – Interesting. It’s almost like
a corn nut, but it’s not a corn nut. – Oh my gosh.
Can I have these Smarties? They give you a little dessert.
So, it’s hot sauce in here. It’s salt, pepper,
a wet wipe. – This is fun.
I would do this just for fun. – To think that they used
to come with a little laxative gum. – (softly) What?
– (FBE) All right, guys. You ready to actually
give some of these a try? – I would, yes.
– Yeah, I’m excited. – I’m very intrigued.
– I never heated mine up ever, because, well, one,
my drill sergeant was like, “You can’t heat it up
if you’re in combat. If you see that little smoke plume,
you give your location away.” And so, I’ve never
really eaten them hot to be honest with you.
– Wow. That’s crazy. But you can eat them like–
– Yeah, you literally just open the bag and just eat it.
– You don’t have to heat them up. – Yeah.
– Wow, that’s so interesting. – (FBE) So, this is menu
number one. This is beef stew.
– Beef stew. – It looks like we could
probably survive eating that. – Let me smell it first.
It smells good. – I don’t remember
if I like this or not, so we’ll see. Mm.
– Mm-hmm. Mm. It tastes like–
what’s that one in the can? The… hearty.
– I’d eat that. – When you’re hungry, camping.
Can you imagine like you’re camping? – This would be great
for camping, man. You kidding me?
Next time I go camping, I’ll probably stock up on MREs.
– Yeah. – Kind of chewy.
– Mm. – I think it’s roadkill stew.
Is that what it is? – You know, it’s not…
– It’s not horrible. – …horrible.
– I’ve had worse. – Ugh.
– It’s good. I like it. Yeah, it’s just enough
vegetables for me for good old beef stew.
– I think that’s why. I think it has too many vegetables.
– I feel like it’s like canned soup. If I got this at a restaurant,
I’d kind of be like, “Mm, okay. I guess.”
– It needs some black pepper. It needs a pinch of salt.
It needs to be dressed up. – And it could use a taste
of real food in here too. – (FBE) So, this is
chicken noodle stew. – Oh!
– (FBE) Not chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle stew.
– (Danny) So, this one looks more pasta-like.
– Yeah. Noodles. – Kind of a softer texture.
– What is up with all this stew, guys? – What is this?
– (FBE) This is chicken noodle stew. – Okay, I like chicken.
– Oh! – I like noodles.
– Okay. – Okay, here goes. Bon appetit.
– Let me get some noodle up in here. – You know, I think that’s
slightly better than the other one from my perspective.
– This one is better than the beef one to me. – Hmm. Yeah. I mean,
it’s a different flavor than what you would expect
with a chicken noodle. – Yeah. Actually, yeah.
– But it’s not bad. – It’s like canned Progresso,
but MRE ration. These are very doable.
– Soup in a bag, you know. – I mean, this is
as good as you’re gonna get for soup in a bag.
– The beef is definitely winning. But it’s not bad.
– It tastes like real food, you know. It doesn’t taste like…
you know, like, it’s real food. It’s hot.
– You just don’t like soup. – Yeah, it’s just not
to my liking, I think. – There was a thing
that was chipped beef with gravy on toast.
– Ooh. I’ve heard about that. – And we used to call it SOS,
and you can imagine what that stands for.
– I’ve heard about the chipped beef on toast.
– It’s a staple. – Even if I had other options,
I might even still eat this. – Wow.
– It’s pretty good. Yeah. – It’s got the Ashby seal of approval. – (laughs)
– (laughs) (ding)
– (FBE) Here is your vegetarian chili that you were cooking up earlier.
– Chili! – Oh! We just made this.
– (Paulette) Yeah. Well, we just– yeah.
– We need some cheese. – Spicy.
– Spicy. This is what I always like, the spicy stuff.
Good for your taste buds. – Okay, this is giving me
flashbacks. Yeah. – Ooh. (snickers)
– Mm-hmm. Mmm. – Ahhh!
– The beans were good, but the artificial beef was…
(chuckles) I wasn’t having it. – Literally, Taco Bell seems
like it’s really, really good compared to this.
– This is literally flavorless. I see why the crackers
and the hot sauce and all of that comes with it, ’cause I’d have
to really doctor this up. – Very little taste.
– It’s not spicy at all. I need some extra hot sauce,
some cayenne pepper on this. – I was about to say. Give me some
Sriracha or some Tapatío or something. – You don’t expect it to be like this.
– These are military rations they’re eating in the field
on deployment, ’cause they’re just moving.
So, you can’t expect it to be like, oh, a gourmet meal.
No, they don’t got time for that! They gotta be able to eat and go.
– If I had to eat it, I would, but this is not one
that I would choose. – I think I chose this one a lot.
– Did you? – Mm-hmm.
– There’s a flavor thing that’s like not, for me, the best.
– This one also is pretty bland. You need the salt
and pepper packs for this one.
– Oh. – Yeah. For sure.
– See, a little insider secret. – (FBE) Next up, this is
pasta marinara with imitation meat. – This… doesn’t look too bad.
– (Paulette) Okay. – Smells good. (sniffs) Okay. – (chuckles) – Hmm.
– Yeah? No? This was also one I would
prefer usually if I could get it. – I can’t.
– The marinara’s delicious. – I can’t. I can definitely
taste the marinara, but without the marinara,
it would be trash. – This is pretty good.
– Yeah, I might choose this as my favorite so far.
– I agree, yeah. – I’m liking that this is not a soup.
– Hey. Hey, I like that one. No, that’s tasty.
It’s spicy. – The flavor’s good.
You can even seen the little pieces of cilantro in it, so…
– Fancy! (chuckles) – Ooh, there’s a weird
aftertaste at the end. – Mm-hmm.
– It’s like stuck there. – It doesn’t go away.
– Oh. Perfect. – At least for a little while.
– I wonder what that is that’s causing that.
– I’m glad that I’m not nearly as disappointed as I was
expecting to be. – I was pleasantly surprised
at the taste of this one. This one was, I think…
– Yeah, this one– let me get a little bit more.
– This is the best one we’ve had this afternoon.
– (FBE) Got a kind of different one for you guys.
This is… gumbo!
– (both) Gumbo. – (Danny) Hmm. Soup-y looking.
– I’ve never seen this before. I don’t know how you got this.
– If I had this, I could’ve traded this.
– Oh, probably. – “I got gumbo!”
– And people probably would’ve been like, “Take everything I have.”
– Yeah. (chuckles) – My nickname is the Gumbo Goddess. I don’t play around with gumbo, okay?
– Ohhh! – I hate when people
call things gumbo that is not gumbo. – It’s good. It’s good.
– Out of all of them, this is the best one.
I could actually make this on my own, ’cause I can’t cook regularly,
but I could definitely put stuff in a bag. (chuckles)
– There you go. – This looks super hearty.
– Mm-hmm. Mm. – Yeah.
– Tastes like gumbo. – That’s the thing about MREs,
all the beef stuff generally tastes the same.
All the chicken stuff generally tastes the same.
That’s why a lot of people liked the vegetarian stuff,
’cause those taste different from each other.
– It’s not bad. – This is good, ’cause you got
everything in there. – Oh. Oh, I think it’s horrible.
– Get this away from me. The roux, the base of the gumbo
is not supposed to be gravy-like in consistency.
This is far too thick. And so, I can tell that this
was not prepared with love. That is the nicest thing
that I can say about this. – Aww.
– Every Thursday in our cafeteria, we had soul food.
So, gumbo would be one of the main things down,
same thing with the greens, ham hocks, you name it,
ribs, mac and cheese. Gumbo would be one
of the main dishes out there. – Honestly, I couldn’t complain.
I could have all of them again. – The gumbo, I would try
that one again. I would try all of them, honestly.
– Yeah, I couldn’t complain with any of them.
– I wouldn’t want the same one, ’cause it kinda gets boring.
– Oh, yeah, yeah. – You wanna switch it up.
– Actually, I wanna have you try those crackers, ’cause those crackers…
– Oh, the crackers. – Yeah. The crackers.
– Right. You talked about that. – Yeah, the crackers.
– Cheers. – Dink. (laughs)
– They are so dry. The moisture in my mouth is gone. – Yeah. Oh, yeah.
– (laughs) – Thanks for watching us try MREs…
– On the React Channel. – What food should we try next?
– Tell us in the comments. – Mmmmwah!
– Bye. – Love ya. Bye!
– Hey, guys. Ethan here from the React Channel.
A big, big thank you to our servicemen and women
who came in and shot this episode with us.
And from all of us here at FBE, a huge, huge thank you
to all of the servicemen and women out there watching.