Super Chef is familiar with Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) those ubiquitous ready meals that bore the brunt of many jokes in the first Gulf War, while other allies’ meals were much sought after by US troops.
Now the secret to at least the MREs’ dessert is out.
NPR’s Guy Raz has reported on the Pentagons’ Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate recipe for brownies in a gob-stopping 26-pages.
Raz spoke to Jeremy Whitsitt of the department, who filled him in on why they needed such an absurdly long recipe:
One thing we like to say is, “What would happen if you cooked a meal, stored it in a stifling hot warehouse, dropped it out of an airplane, dragged it through the mud, left it out with bugs and vermin, and ate it three years later?”
. Raz also asked Penny Karas, founder of Hello Cupcake bakery in Washington, D.C. to whip up a batch.
It turns out they taste as bad when freshly made as they do after three years.
(If you want to check out the recipe, click here.)
Maybe the army needs to encourage citizens to bake real brownies, the kind that take only a few steps to make, for our troops?
Super Chef wonders why the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate has not followed the lead of NASA (see “Emeril Leads Space Race“) and teamed up with a celebrity chef to produce a better brownie?
Isn’t their a publicity-hungry celebrity chef out there eager to make our troops a yummy brownie?
(Image from the Internet Grocer)
I am in awe. Totally speechless.
Nah, this is pretty standard for military spec. You might say “shortening” but if you don’t specify what kind of shortening, someone’s going to find the cheapest kind they can and bid low.
The recipe is set and people bid how little money they can produce the item for – this is a government bid, not a recipe you make in your house.
Someone may use substandard milk and charge 10c less a cookie but everyone who eats one gets melamine poisoning, for example.
A lot of the text is criteria for rejection – things like rodents getting into the batches, things that would be common sense for a consumer but are essential for a multimillion dollar contract.
What’s more scandalous – a 26-page specification, or the fact that a government would have to spend millions of dollars on cookies that no one in their right mind would eat because rats got into them?
This isn’t as silly as made out to be.