YouTube / Steve1989MREInfo
While most MRE rations come in big packs, the U2 spy plane pilot’s MREs come in tubes. For taste testing, Steve was able to get three tubes that contained: Caffeinated Apple Pie (with 100 mg of Caffeine!), Polenta with Cheese and Bacon, and Beef Stew.
Each one weighs approximately 141 grams and is enclosed in an aluminum container. These tubes have been produced for over 50 years now, with around 28,000 made annually.
Steve was surprised at how thick the puree was. The apple pie had a chewy texture and apparently tasted like an actual apple pie – complete with the crust and everything in there.
Heating them thins them out, too. U2 pilots have a tube heater to warm up the tubes, making it easier to eat straight from the tube.
Prevalent cornmeal and bacon flavor that is even better than the Caffeinated Apple Pie – like bacon with grits! There were thick chunks of bacon that you could actually chew too.
One thing that the U2 pilots need to be careful of is punctures. Some rations are made with the ruggedness of combat in mind, but not these tubes. A small hole in the tube can easily burst mid-flight, a nightmare scenario for a hungry U2 pilot.
Unfortunately, the Beef Stew had a puncture near the bottom, so Steve opted not to eat the tube for now.
In total, there are 19 different menu options that consist of nine main courses or entrees, five fruits, and five desserts. Other items not included in the video were: Caffeinated Chocolate Pudding, Mac and Cheese, Peach Melba, Chicken a la King, Bolognese Pasta, and many more.