Can You Match the Military Rations to the Country?

HISTORY

John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Whether you call them K-rations or MREs, battlefield food is a critically important element of logistics during wars. Every country implements specific foods into its MRE -- can you match these rations to the correct country?

What are "field rations"?

Field rations are meals -- sometimes freeze-dried or pre-cooked -- that are lightweight and easy for soldiers to carry through battlefields. Field rations have evolved greatly in recent decades due to changes in food technologies.

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What is one of the primary attributes of field rations?

Modern field rations are made with long shelf life in mind. But from country to country, the actual contents of the ration packs are very different.

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Which country might include beef tortellini in its rations?

French rations often include pasta dishes like beef tortellini. Many rations closely match the diets of the country of origin.

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Sardines in vegetable oil

The Spanish enjoy many types of fish in their diet. So it's no surprise that sardines make the menu in their ration packs.

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Yogurt with breakfast flakes

Sweden is full of hippie types. So it's probably no surprise that yogurt with breakfast flakes helps fuel them for a long morning of combat.

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Almond poppy seed pound cake

The United States rations sometimes include almond poppy seed pound cake. It gets rave reviews such as: "It tasted so good I can't believe it was three years old!"

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Yellow soup with fish

Thailand is a country that devours countless fish each year. That fishy diet makes itself known in the ration pack, which also features fish sauce.

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What does "MRE" stand for?

MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat. MREs vary greatly depending on the country of origin -- some food lovers make a game of collecting MREs from various countries around the world to sample different military cuisines.

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Mango drink

The soldiers of Tanzania are accustomed to foods of the tropics, and mangoes fit the bill. The mango drink is one delicacy in their ration packs.

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If you see tamales in a ration pack, the meal may be from which country?

Colombian military rations include local meals like tamales. You might also find items like chorizo spread and a can of Coke.

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Wheat porridge with beef

Some recent Ukraine rations include a wheat porridge dish that contains beef. The portions are large and you get real beef in these kits.

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Peanut butter and crackers

Peanut butter and crackers is a popular snack in the U.S., and of course, these foods have a very, very long shelf life. That makes them perfect for defending democracy.

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Kenco coffee

Kenco is a famous brand of coffee in the United Kingdom. You might find it in the packs of British soldiers serving all over the world.

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Znojmo style short loin with rice

The Czech Republic offers its personnel Znojmo style short loin with rice in some of its rations. Sift through the hard block of rice and you may stumble upon bits of green bits and onions in this dish.

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Bear Paws cookies

Where else but Canada would you be eating Bear Paws cookies? Just don't leave them in your tent at night, lest bears come rummaging for the crumbs.

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A typical field ration can feed a soldier for how long?

Field ration packs are typically portioned to provide enough calories for one soldier for 24 hours. But of course, weather conditions and activity levels alter the number of energy that people need during combat.

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Compote

If you like pieces of fruit in a sweet syrup, then compote is for you. It's not uncommon for British MREs to feature compote.

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Powdered cappuccino

No Italian soldier wants to start his day without a good slug of cappuccino. Therefore, this coffee staple is included in some Italian MREs.

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Cassoulet with duck confit

The French are known as lovers of fine food … and they're determined to take that legacy into combat. So, you have dishes like cassoulet with duck confit and crème chocolate pudding.

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Rice-stuffed grape leaves

Grape leaves are a staple in diets of the Middle East. So it's no surprise that Israeli rations include things like rice-stuffed grape leaves.

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Soy milk with red-bean dessert

An MRE from Singapore might include a sweet treat like soy milk with red-bean dessert. It's a common dessert for people from this region.

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Liver pate

Liver pate is a staple that's found in MREs from Estonia. Not a fan of liver? Maybe you'd like the dark chocolate instead. Or, don't serve in the Estonian Army.

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Marmite

Marmite is a brand name for a yeast extract that can be used in a dark brown paste with a powerful flavor. It is beloved in New Zealand and Australia ... and despised in many other places., So during World War III, don't trade lunches with the Aussies.

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Which country might include a biodegradable spork in its rations?

Denmark sometimes includes a biodegradable spork in its rations … because nothing ruins a good, bloody battle like plastic litter all over the place.

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Salted lard

Salted lard -- salo -- is a type of salted pork meat common in Slavic regions. Therefore, you might find it in a Russian MRE.

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Ham, leeks and potato hotpot

Holland is on the right track with its MREs. In addition to a delicious hotpot, you might get chicken korma, chocolate biscuits and candied almonds.

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Chicken meatballs with rice

If you crack open an MRE from Israel, you might find chicken meatballs with rice. Tuna, olives, peanuts and other snacks are also common.

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Smoked sprats

What, you've never heard of "sprats" before? Neither have we. Sprats are a type of small, oil forage fish … and if you eat an Estonian MRE, you may get to try them.

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Ravioli with meat sauce

Italians, of course, love their pasta. So don't act surprised that ravioli might slip into their field rations.

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Jasmine rice

The Thais like quality, flavorful rice. And jasmine rice fits the bill, so it also makes the grade for their field rations.

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