U.S. troops serving in combat zones have long requested one food over all others: pizza!
But forget 30-minute delivery. Like many of their meals, pizza fit for soldiers needs to stay fresh for up to three years. It also has to be able to withstand floods and freezing and scorching temperatures—plus remain intact during parachute drops.
Now troops are finally getting what they ordered. Combat-ready pizza is being shipped to U.S. military bases worldwide. The new MRE (meal ready to eat) is the handiwork of food scientists at an Army laboratory in Natick, Massachusetts.
Soldiers rely on MREs because they come in pouches and don’t require cooking. To create an MRE pizza, experts spent two decades developing a crust with just the right amount of moisture. They also had to experiment with sauces to find one that wouldn’t go bad.
The result is a 3-by-5-inch rectangular slice, with mozzarella and pepperoni. How does it taste? According to some testers, it’s a bit like day-old pizza.
“These were designed to be eaten when you are wet, cold, and hungry,” says David Accetta, a spokesperson for the Army’s food lab. “They taste better then.”