When I was one of Uncle Sam’s grunts, the MRE — technically “Meal, Ready to Eat” but often disparaged as “Meal Rejected by Ethiopians” or worse — did not exist; we were still on the legendary (and not in a particularly good way) C-rations. I rather vividly remember a bivouac breakfast consisting of “Ham, Water Added, and Eggs, Chopped, Canned.” I am told the MRE is a decided improvement. Still, the MRE is expected to last for three years in storage, which would seem to limit the fare to Mickey D’s Happy Meals with the occasional Twinkie.
But now: pizza. Really:
“It’s a fully assembled and baked piece of pizza in one package,” Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist at the US Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, told Tech Insider.
So what does it taste like? Think cafeteria pizza, or as Oleksyk describes it, like “day after pizza.” And while its square shape and bready crust can’t rival a New York slice, Olesky said soldiers give it the thumbs up.
I don’t know anyone who objects to day-old leftover pizza: it’s the delicious part of a marginally healthful breakfast.
Still, putting pizza into an MRE required some serious technology:
One hurdle to overcome was figuring out how to prevent mold from growing. For the dough, they used something called Hurdle technology that creates layers of protection from preventing bacteria forming. The tomato sauce has a higher pH and is more acidic to keep the critters away.
Well, technically there’s no one specific hurdle method: you use whatever’s appropriate for the contents to be stored. But I’m pretty sure this sort of thing didn’t exist in the days of the C-ration.
[C]an this fabled pizza survive a point-blank round from a Vulcan cannon? How about a Kalashnikov?
Most certainly, I’m not the guy to test this.