After years of having a wee bottle of Tabasco to spice up their rations, troops now will be using powdered hot sauce.
According to a story in Stars and Stripes, the batch of Meals, Ready to Eat in production this year will include powdered hot sauce for the first time.
The iconic tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce will be phased out by 2024, Julie Smith, senior food technologist for the Army’s Combat Feeding Division, told Stars and Stripes.
The hot sauce shift is one of several changes to MREs approved in February. The 2022 batch will introduce fruit pouches, a coconut almond bar, and a Mexican-rice-and-bean-bowl meal, an Army document summarizing the changes said.
According to the article, the military also approved 10 new items for MREs in the coming years. Chicken stir-fry meals with carrots, bamboo shoots and ginger soy sauce are slated to arrive by 2024. A new recipe for spaghetti with beef and sauce, granola, lemon cheesecake, an apple dessert spread and larger portions of jalapeno cashews and smoked almonds are also on the way within the next two years.
Subtractions from this year’s menu include the creamy spinach fettucine meal, wheat snack bread and flavored cappuccino powder, the document said.
The changes were the result of troop feedback and an emphasis on reducing weight in MREs, Smith said.
Military rations have featured mini bottles of Tabasco for decades. Generations of troops have used the iconic red pepper sauce to liven up field rations.
But the glass bottles add up in weight and cost when produced by the millions, Smith said.
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