Yesterday was Veterans Day, and many of our federal employee, school employee, and bank employee co-patriots are celebrating with time off from work on this beautiful autumn day. But for those of you reading this, who may be slugging away at your desks, here’s a military history retrospective that will make you appreciate the delivery options available to you today!
As we salute the men and women who have risked their lives to keep America free, perhaps chow down on one of these foods today in their honor:
1. During the Revolutionary War, beef, peas, and rice was the standard ration pack for American soldiers. (Salted fish and cider were other favorites.) We clearly borrowed the peas from British cuisine, but perhaps it was carbo-loading on the rice that gave us that extra boost to victory over the Redcoats.
2. By the Civil War, Americans had already developed their passion for caffeinated beverages. Thus, it was coffee, in this pre-Starbucks era, that kept our feuding countrymen energized for their battles.
3. By World War I, America’s obsession with meat had grown. Cured beefs and pork were the food of the day. And just like we’re currently rationing gasoline here in the New York area, our forefathers (and binders full of foremothers) had to ration their bread and wheat products. Still, we’d prefer Mile End or Katz’s…
…to what our Great Grandpas had to eat on the front lines…
4. By World War II, the military started providing different meals based on different fighting environments. One of the more famous was the Jungle ration, that included everything from biscuits to porridge to dried apricots to fruit bars to cigarettes and more.
5. As soldiers in the Pacific were chowing down on their jungle rations, those in Europe and other mountainous regions were equipped with the Mountain ration, which offered, in dehydrated form, baked beans, cheese, potatoes, soup (yes an oxymoron apparently), sausages, pre-cooked rice and more.
6. No, Korean War didn’t bring didn’t bring kimchi and bibimbop to the soldiers fighting there. The army’s C-Rations experienced a time of increased menu options (now up to 10 different varieties of meat entrees), but just like Seamless ratings and reviews, there were some winners and some losers. The least popular: Ham and Lima Beans, Meat Hash, and mutton stew with vegetables. Yet it was the much-loved instant coffee of the American forces that spread to Korea in what proved to be an act of wartime globalization that lasts to this day.
7. The Vietnam War made way for a bit of ethnic flare to make its way into the ration packs. One example, chile con carne.
8. Apparently, whoever was making the ration boxes during Desert Storm might have misread the name of the operation as Dessert storm. The rations consisted of freeze-dried fruit, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, Peanut butter… and some Tabasco sauce to wash it all down.
9. Finally, our modern-day heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan have 24 menus, and just like Seamless, have a host of Kosher and vegetarian options. At this very moment, soldiers are chowing down on chicken pesto pasta, ratatouille, potato cheddar soup, cinnamon roll, jalapeno cashews, and Twizzler nibs.
Thank you to our veterans, and may your food delivery options today be better than what you were served in the field!