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Old 10 and 4 Man Compo Rations

quilter

War Hero
Our MQ was next to the tank park - when guys rolled out tanks for exercise I spread the word that any unwanted tins be chucked into my garden - result was next morning, tinned salmon, apricot pudding (sublime) cheese possessed (vile), fruitcake, but quite a few decent additions especially stewed steak and the unused remnants/oddments came on the return journey. Once a Canadian attachment visited for an exercise and I obtained some of their rations - in green plastic packages, very odd, can only remember some jams and soup. Happy days.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Don't remember mustard, or any other condiment, in the rat packs of the 1970s. Sections used to buy 'extras' like mustard, tomato and brown sauce, Tabasco etc. Many guys also bought and carried extra curry powder which went in to virtually everything except Chinese Wedding Cake.
 
Why they needed extra salt is beyond me because that food was rammed with salt anyway.

It's for the sort of people who reach for the salt cellar as soon as a plate of food is put before them, without tasting a morsel first. Food is wasted on such people.

They will go on to work for the companies who make supermarket ready meals.
 
I'd sooner have had 24hr one man packs than 10 man rats, any day. I always seemed to be hungry on 10 man rats as whoever was dishing them out seemed to hold back using the whole box in a day.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
Food is wasted on such people.

The man who put too much salt on his dumplings, arrested by Catering Corps Commandos. Aldershot, 1957.

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AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Yes, there was mustard powder in the old compo boxes.

Looking at that rations website, why are people so fascinated with 25 year old tins of food that most of us hated at the time?
Zero Alpha has found a series on Sky History or something called Eating History, in which they source food up to 100 years old (on one occasion tried a 150 year old cooking method on a moose nose) "so that we don't have to".

They just about manage to eat the US equivalent to Compo, from the 80s, as far back as the Second Unpleasantness. Only rarely does the on-site medic say no, and call in a decontamination team. But it almost never tastes as palatable as we remember.
 
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Can't remember mustard in the 10 man packs but we used to chuck a few DM in together and get extra stuff from the local shops to add to them prior to going on exercise
 
1. Ration packs were 1 man, 4 man and 10 man. I'm not aware of there being a 14 man pack.

2. Ration packs didn't include sliced meat (as I recall) so there was nothing to put mustard on - although there were doubtless company chefs who added a bit in all-in stews to give a bit of oomph.

3. I do have a vague recollection of seeing tiny single-serving tubes of mustard but wouldn't swear that they were in ration packs. More likely I saw them in camping shops but I may just be imagining them.

Used to be able to liberate a handful of tomato sauce, vinegar and mustard sachets at most fast food places. I suppose these days the tight buggers chuck one or two into the bag with your filthburger, what with the economy being what it is.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Bring back the compo sausages !!!!

BTW they were orrible cold , could not get rid of the taste of lard for at least a day . But hot .....Food of the Gods .

Also loved the chicken supreme , would not eat tinned chicken till I sampled that delicacy . Shame they got rid and replaced with the curry .
Not a great fan of the compo chicken curry although it was edible ( just )
Never ever had the bacon burgers .
Chicken Extreme and Curry were contemporaneous. Extreme was replaced by Chicken in Brown Sauce. I preferred the former.
 
Chicken Extreme and Curry were contemporaneous. Extreme was replaced by Chicken in Brown Sauce. I preferred the former.

Only the Brits could name a food after its colour :)

I don’t remember mustard either, but I am old enough to remember tubes of condemned milk in the 24 hr packs. And marge for biscuits AB.
 

Londo

LE
Chicken Extreme and Curry were contemporaneous. Extreme was replaced by Chicken in Brown Sauce. I preferred the former.
You are of course correct . Old age has addled my brane

Chicken in brown sauce was of the three the most revolting

supreme ....Food of the Gods

curry ....tolerable

brown sauce ... Throw it straight into a hole in the ground and cut out the middle man .
 

Londo

LE
Only the Brits could name a food after its colour :)

I don’t remember mustard either, but I am old enough to remember tubes of condemned milk in the 24 hr packs. And marge for biscuits AB.
Loved the tubes of condensed milk and the tubes of jam
Remember buying the tubes of milk from a supermarket just for old times sake about 10 years back .
Don't know if it's still sold now .
 
Yes, there was mustard powder in the old compo boxes.

Looking at that rations website, why are people so fascinated with 25 year old tins of food that most of us hated at the time?

‘Never hated it at all. Being brought up in a hotel ,joining up and Many a year later. Remember going to Sardinia on an exped in 95 . We had 9x9 tents, a gas cooker , 10 man ration packs and cilor for fresh. Eggs, apples , wine , bread etc.

Breakfast was a treat, bacon grill, sausages, not just one, fried bread, fried eggs, beans .

Fit for a king.

Remember the blue salt shaker as well.

One thing always missing was the bloody toilet paper.
 

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