“It smells so foul and… oh man! Nice!” — Most people wouldn't react with this level of joy after opening a practically-petrified tin of beef concentrate from the turn of the century, but YouTuber Steve1989 is not like most people. This MRE historian is dedicated to documenting and (often at great risk of illness) taste-testing military rations from throughout history and from countries all over the world. We can't fathom how strong his stomach must be, but it's impressive.

Steve1989 MRE 1899 British emergency ration food survival meal 2

The Second Boer War took place in South Africa between 1899 and 1902.

In years past, we wrote about Steve's taste tests of a 1953 Food Packet and a 1943 U.S. Army K Ration, but this latest video goes much further back in time. Steve managed to procure a British emergency ration from the Second Boer War — that places the ration's date of manufacture between 1899 and 1902. Back then, there was no convenient air-tight plastic packaging, so this ration was placed in a metal capsule that was soldered shut.

Steve1989 MRE 1899 British emergency ration food survival meal 3

Steve cautiously peels open the seams on the emergency ration, and examines its contents: 4 ounces of beef concentrate and 4 ounces of cocoa paste. This wasn't intended to be a full meal, only a survival calorie source for dire situations. Either way, the contents certainly didn't look (or smell) appetizing, and eating something this far out of date is clearly dangerous. But Steve digs in anyway.

Steve1989 MRE 1899 British emergency ration food survival meal 5

Check out the full video below for Steve's detailed impressions:

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