USFK MREs STILL popular in Korea?

Apparently so.  Back in 2009 51 Koreans were arrested for illegally selling American MREs.  Well, last month more people have been arrested for selling American MREs!  Apparently, the people are being arrested not so much for selling the MREs but for selling expired MREs (i.e. after 10 years).  Supposedly, Korean hikers and campers like expired American MREs.  At $2 a pop for a meal containing 3,000 calories, it is hard to beat the price too.

Personally, I don’t see how Koreans can be all that excited about 10 year old (or older) beef “patties,” faux pork “ribs,” chili & beans, cajun rice & sausage, meat loaf with gravy, etc.  However, according to this video, even a Desert Storm era MRE can be edible.  Any ways, I just don’t see the aforementioned flavors being all that exciting to the Korean palate.  Anyone have some inside information here?

  • Aja Aja

    It’s probably some old Koreans who remember the old times right after the Korean War, and who are nostalgic towards their childhood.

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah. Younger people are too “spoiled”. So they can let that go to waste.

  • A Korean

    Reminds me of 부대찌개 (army base stew). Some people, even some young’uns, still dig it.

    In turn, it reminds me of 아귀찜 (spicy braised angler), which has become and remains something of a delicacy. People only started to eat that fish from the post-war era, when any kind of protein was scarce commodity.

  • A Korean

    I’ve not had MREs personally, but people told me they are quite palatable. They are compact (no need for cooking gear), high calories, very convenient for camping/backpacking, but also suitable as emergency ration with long-term storage convenience – certainly beats cans of chilli.

    As for Koreans fancying American MREs, I suspect novelty (as opposed to typical camping food and Korean MREs) and perhaps nostalgia, as Aja has noted, may be playing a part.

    Also, America generally do pretty good with greasy, meaty, filling grubs, and often they include desert (cookie, cakes, candybars, etc.).

  • Jason Teale

    With the rise of the camping culture here, this comes as no surprise. While it may not be tasty, the look is definitely appealing to the avid camper. Fact is, I just saw them for sale in Busan’s Gangtong market in Nampo-dong.

  • Michael23

    MRE’s are great! And it’s astounding that civilians can get them for $2 each! Seriously, how are they getting them? And how I can get some as well!

  • m0tbaillie

    We still catch the young ROK soldiers trying to pilfer them during JCS exercises. I have absolutely no idea what the interest in them is. They’re absolutely terrible for you and will make you not shit for 3 days.

  • m0tbaillie

    You can order boxes of them on eBay.

  • codfilet

    There’s a lot of useful extras in an MRE,too-toilet paper, salt,pepper, sugar,coffee,cream,etc. I have a bunch of them that are coming up on about 8 years old-my son had a number of boxes of them from when he was in the Marines (I think he said as an officer, he actually had to buy his own MREs, as unlikely as that sounds). I think most of them would appeal to Koreans these days-the menus are certainly not like the old C-Rations.
    I’ve eaten lots of them-the cookies,cakes and biscuits in them are not bad at all. Lots of them had little bottles of tabasco sauce, but they didn’t seal too well, and most of the ones I have have leaked out by now.

  • codfilet

    They seem to give me gas real bad.

  • codfilet

    What sort of field rations do Korean soldiers have?

  • m0tbaillie

    Actually, far better than ours IMO. I have eaten Korean MREs (like no-shit ones that they give to their military) of bibimbap and I thought it was excellent, and I’m a bibimbap connoisseur. Generally during exercises they ROK folks we worked with would make their rounds every night and give out ramen bowls (top notch stuff too, actually) and chocopies and other misc treats.

    My only regret working with the Koreans is that they always treated us, as a military, better than we treated them. The joint awards they gave us were always better, the parties they threw were always better, the food they shared with us was always better. The stuff we gave them in return felt cheap, thoughtless, and shitty.

  • wangkon936

    Ah, that’s right. Koreans love Tabasco and Taster’s Choice instant coffee.

    Didn’t think about that.

  • SeoulGoodman

    A stolen fruit is much more delicious.

  • wangkon936

    You’re a guest and as long as you remain a good guess they will be excellent hosts.

  • Cloudfive

    Tabasco sauce is delicious and has a very distinct flavor. I wish I could find Worcestershire sauce here. Nothing beats Worcestershire sauce in enhancing the flavor of beef.

  • codfilet

    Yes it does! I use Lea and Perrins sauce on all the beef I cook.

  • codfilet

    Not just that-the ones I have also have cappuccino,hot chocolate, tea,and Kool-aid type drinks in them.

  • Bob Bobbs

    3000 calories? This says 1250 (and has a lot of good details and images):

  • wangkon936

    Question. Does a Canadian MRE come with a pint of Molson beer?

  • A Korean

    A piece of BC bud brownie drenched in maple syrup in every package.

  • Aja Aja

    Do they put something in the food so that you don’t shit for 3 days? I guess they don’t want soldiers in battlefields to shit everyday.

  • Sumo294

    . . . I am compelled to ask–is there a tasty Canuk pancake with bacon MRE?

  • cactusmcharris

    Only the fake ones come with Molson.

  • Alex
  • gbnhj