Meals Rejected by Ethiopians?
In the last10 years or so, I've only had a couple of MREs... it seems like the quality and variety has improved dramatically sine I was in the Corps or stocking up for Y2K.
When I became a Marine in 1986, MREs were still fairly new, and the variety wasn't that great. The ones I remember are dehydrated pork patty, dehydrated beef patty, and beef stew. There was either a fruit drink type powder or cocoa powder, crackers that could be used as a throwing star almost, peanut butter spread, apple jelly, or cheese spread, dehydrated fruit compressed into a square (peaches and pears come to mind) and a dessert - either a pound cake with nuts or fruit, a brownie bar, or a chocolate covered cookie. The accessory pack had toilet paper, matches, sugar, creamer, coffee, two Chiclets gum pieces, and a fork. The little bottles of Tabasco were several years off.
You had to be pretty creative to get satisfaction from the meals. The beef patty with cheese spread and crackers was almost a cheeseburger. Using just a couple of drops of water and the creamer in the cocoa powder made it a pudding consistency... put it on a cracker with peanut butter spread and it's almost as good as the chocolate peanut butter pie from my favorite truck stop. Breaking up the crackers in the beef stew, and putting a line of cheese on top made almost a shepherd's pie or beef pot pie.
Back then, the MRE heaters that come in every meal today had not been invented. The food was either cold or had to be heated alternatively. Some would drop the vented pouches in a canteen cup of water over a heat tab. In the summer, we'd just lay the pouches in the sun on a hot rock. Winter time would sometimes call for setting them on the manifold of our deuce and a half truck. If things were moving quick and we had little time, it might be as basic as shoving the pouch under the t-shirt for a bit of body warmth.
Whatever you use for long term storage foods, you really need to be creative to eat it in different ways to avoid food boredom. Spices, different combinations, etc... can all go along way toward making it tasty and keep you fueled up. Of course, sometimes a little imagination helps too.