What happens when Slovenian and Canadian soldiers swap rations? Some items are instant hits, and others are epic fails.
Watch as Canadian Armed Forces member MCpl. Michael Vernon and Slovenian soldier Pte. Teja Tropan swap their MRE in NATO’s Ration Swap.
Posted online in Sept. and recorded in July, when both military personnel were deployed to Camp Adazi, part of NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Latvia.
“Every army in NATO has its own field ration, commonly known as MREs (meals-ready-to-eat). While perhaps not the height of culinary expression, these rations give soldiers the calories they need to power through a hard day in the field. From Ally to Ally, their contents differ in small, interesting ways,” noted the NATO video synopsis.
Menu Caters to Country
A few jokes are exchanged between the two soldiers as they kick off the meal swap. MCpl. Vernon presents one Canadian MRE, while Pte. Tropan brings a Slovenian 24-hour MRE to the swap.
Both soldiers had the opportunity to try a few items for the first time:
- beef jerky,
- Tabasco sauce
- fish pâté, and
- Slovenian honey.
Pte. Tropan begins the ration swap as she tries beef jerky for the first time. MCpl. Vernon lets her know that she has a good one as it is barbecue-flavoured.
She notes, “It’s spicy a little, maybe.”
Up next is MCpl. Vernon giving the muesli a go, after a taste, he shared, “It’s really good.”
With Tabasco sauce available in the Canadian MRE, Pte. Tropan turns up the heat with another first, trying the sauce for the first time. Putting it on ravioli, she quickly learns she is not a fan, as she noted, “I don’t like Tabasco.”
The next first is when MCpl. Vernon opens and tries the fish pâté. Pte. Tropan reassured him, “It’s better than it looks.” However, after he tasted it, using a fork, Pte. Tropan noted it tastes better when you eat it with a biscuit. The pair shared a laugh.
Rating the Rations
As the video draws to an end, and both ration packs have been tried, the soldiers rate each other’s MRE. Using a scale of one to 10, both are very generous with their ratings.
“For yours, the rations, I give it a nine or a ten,” said MCpl. Vernon.
Private Tropan responded, noting, “For your ration…I would give nine because of the Tabasco.”
Watch the Ration Swap above.
The multinational battlegroup in Latvia is led by Canada and has military personnel from 10 other Allied countries, including Albania, Czechia, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.