The Lowdown: Metal Gear Solid Rations

Those who know me, know that I’m a geek at heart, and while I love foraging and cooking real food, I’m also very much into what is portrayed in games, TV and pop culture. This time I’m looking at Metal Gear Solid Rations. Scroll to the bottom if you’re interested in trying out a ration recipe!

Warning: Contains spoilers for the Metal Gear Solid series

One of the main items found in Metal Gear Solid is possibly Snake’s best nutritious friend, rations. These recovery items appear in almost every MGS game.

The item usually recovers a substantial amount of health or stamina and is designed to resemble rations that soldiers consume when on tours. They have a long shelf life and high nutritional value.

But what was in them? In this case in the game, it’s more than likely there’s some kind of meat with a high-fat content, beans and vegetables (like a preserved stew!) inside them.

In both Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear 2, rations could be frozen due to the environments you were in, like the Shadow Moses underground warehouse. Though the rations are inedible when frozen, they can be warmed up by equipping them for a prolonged time.

The rations that Naked Snake gets during Operation Snake Eater and Virtuous Mission back in 1964 were made by Soviet forces and don’t do a good job of recovering in-game stamina. If you try and feed them to EVA she expresses distaste towards them and the attack dogs also tend to ignore them after sniffing them.

In contrast, rations made since the 1995 Outer Heaven Uprising have a much-improved taste and recover more stamina.

In a conversation with Snake and Rose, Roy Campbell mentions a UN swap meet that dealt with rations. According to Campbell, the French rations came out on top with the Japanese being “much better” than he expected. The worst according to the judges, were the American rations.

Fun fact: Raiden’s girlfriend Rosemary (during the Big Shell incident), was such a bad cook that he actually preferred rations!

Recipe: Hard Tack

While not specific to Metal Gear Solid rations, I thought it would be fun to include a ration recipe! This recipe is for ‘hard tack’ (or hardtack) a dense type of biscuit, and yes it’s as tasty as it sounds. Remember this, at the time, was functional food on the go. It wasn’t glamorous!

There are just three ingredients, and it is inexpensive to make and long-lasting.


  • 240g all-purpose flour (extra for dusting)
  • 230 ml water
  • 2 tsp salt

Special equipment:

  • Baking sheet tray
  • Baking paper


  1. Preheat oven to 190 Celsius
  2. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and gently combine with a wooden spoon.
  3. Dust your work surface with flour and place your dough on top.
  4. Roll out the dough roughly into a long rectangle using a rolling pin.
  5. Cut into squares using a knife or if you have one, a pizza roller works.
  6. Add the baking paper to the tray and place squares on top. To give a more biscuit look to the ration, poke dots into the dough!
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.
  8. They will be hard but that’s the point! To soften them a bit you soup or even a hot drink.

(Lead image via HD Wallpapers New)

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