WATCH: 118-year-old beef army ration sampled by vlogger: ‘It tastes like dirt’
YouTuber Steve sampled an old British armed forces emergency ration that was produced around 1899-1902. It was created for soldiers who fought in the Second Boer War in South Africa.
Steve estimated the rusted tin ration to be around 118 years old. Upon opening the ration, it was split into two tin cans. One held concentrated dry beef while the other held dried cocoa.
According to the instructions Steve found, both could be eaten dry or with a biscuit. There was also the option of boiling them in water for beef soup and cups of hot cocoa.
Steve first scraped off the parts that were in contact with the metal container. With the cleaner-looking center exposed, he first sampled the dry beef.
Steve’s initial assessment: “It tastes like dirt.” After a few more bites he described it as “pulverized beef jerky, old bread crumbs, mixed with cardboard and a little bit of chlorine.”
After taking a break for two and a half days to refresh his taste buds, Steve came back for more. This time he sampled the beef after boiling it for an hour as per the instruction. What he arrived at was something that looked like juicy ground beef.
The cooked century beef elicited several reactions from Steve. He first described the taste as “beef mixed with refried beens.”
He added, “What ever this was, [it] was never that great.”
Steve also noted the recurring taste of liver, cartilage and various meat byproducts. Appetizing.
The YouTuber decided not to try cooking the concentrated hot cocoa fearing it might be contaminated due to pinholes found in its container.
Watch the full 26-minute-long taste-testing video below.
As a point of reference, Modern Meal, Ready-to-Eat rations, or MREs, typically have an estimated shelf life of one month to five years, depending on the temperature. Keeping them in a cool and dry place would help with the preservation. /ra
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