The War Ready Brownie

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Photo: May-Ying Lam / NPR
Photo: May-Ying Lam / NPR (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

This week on Good Food, Evan talks to two civilians who work for the Department of Defense’s Combat Feeding Directorate, which makes MRE’s, or “Meals Ready to Eat.”  They explained why their brownie recipe is 26 pages long.  It contains very precise specifications for all of the ingredients: Nuts, almonds, shelled. Shelled almond pieces shall be of the small piece size classification and shall be U.S. No. 1 Pieces of the U.S. Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds.  A minimum of 95 percent, by weight, of the pieces shall pass through a 4/16-inch diameter round hole screen and not more than 5 percent, by weight, shall pass through a 2/16-inch diameter round hole screen.  The shelled almonds shall be coated with an approved food grade antioxidant and shall be of the latest season’s crop.

…and an exact size for the finished brownie: “shall not exceed 3-1/2 inches by 2-1/2 inches by 5/8 inch.”  I guess if you’re anything into a war, you want it to be safe… even a brownie.  Listen to NPR’s story on the brownie here.  And watch a video about MRE’s, after the jump.

Here’s a BBC reporter tasting a MRE: