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A Little Taste of the Middle East from LSS

Kabseh Rice With Chicken from LSS of Jordan ~ the subtle flavours of this dish make it one of my favourites from the Middle East [© Bob Morrison]

LSS (Loyalty Support Services) from Jordan presented a little taste of the Middle East on their stand at World Defense Show in Riyadh, writes Bob Morrison.

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In previous articles in this Rations section I have not only mentioned that I like Arabian cuisine but I have also covered LSS meals and enjoyed them, so I was glad to spot the sales team from the Amman-based company had a stand at the Saudi Arabian expo earlier this month. Unfortunately, because I only travelled back and forth between an international hotel and the expo site, I did not have much chance to taste regional foods other than figs and dates during my most recent Arabian venture. So when LSS offered me a choice of samples to take away for review I took them up on the offer.

LSS Vine Leaves (left) and Kabseh Rice With Chicken foil trays [© Bob Morrison]

Although the Jordanian company supplies a wide range of ration pack retort pouch meals, they also produce foil tray meals and it was two of those ~ a starter and a main ~ which I opted for. LSS is also now using Tempra Technology self-heating systems for it foil tray meals and as a bonus they gave me one of these to try as well. My starter tray was Stuffed Vine Leaves and my main course meal tray was my personal favourite Kabseh Rice With Chicken. Kufta Meat With Tahini was my self-heating bonus meal.

The tasty Vine Leaves tray, here inside my usual WildO food tray for size comparison, with a ration pack fork [© Bob Morrison]

The 230g tray of Vine Leaves, consisting of six small wraps of rice, bell peppers, tomato, onion lemon, herbs and spices in sunflower oil and pomegranate molasses, did not require heating and provided just under 300kcal of energy. The 250g tray of Kabseh, which provided just under 450kcal, ideally needed to be heated before consumption, though as it was fully cooked it could have been eaten cold if operationally necessary. Normally a separately supplied Flameless Ration Heater or fuel tablet heater would be used to bring it up to eating temperature, but to conserve my limited FRH stocks for emergencies I used a pan of simmering water to heat mine instead. Both starter and main course were of expected good quality and really tasty. I just wish I had been able to blag/prof a suitcase full to keep me going until my next trip out to the Middle East.

Kofta meatballs and potatoes in tahini sauce after heating ~ it was a really enjoyable dish and properly heated throughout, which is a bonus if cold and wet on exercise or operations [© Bob Morrison]
The heater for the 200g main meal tray is quite bulky but it is flameless, can be safely used in a confined space and it ensures the meal is thoroughly heated [© Bob Morrison]

Turning now to the self-heating meal, this was a 200g LSS tray of Kufta (Kofta) Meat With Tahini in its own Tempra-powered self-heating cooker. This meal of minced veal meatballs and large potato chunks in a rich tahini (toasted sesame) sauce generated almost 600kcal. Inside Tempra heaters there is a chemical mixture (a bit like that found in flameless ration heaters) which reacts with water and generates heat for five to seven minutes once an internal bag of water is punctured by two turns of a small handle on the outside. This method of heating is better than the alternatives as it brings the meal to a constant high temperature throughout. However, as on safety grounds the heater body needs to be quite bulky the pack is much heavier than an FRH, so this type of meal is more appropriate for outpost troops / vehicle crews use rather than for individual carry in the field. As for the meatballs and potatoes contents, they were really tasty indeed and I enjoyed this reminder of past trips to The Levant and Arabian Peninsula.

The self-heating main meal tray and coffee offered by LSS use Tempra Technology [© Bob Morrison]
Instructions on the NŪRANGE Vanilla Latte self-heating can [© Bob Morrison]

While on the subject of self-heating, LSS have now also introduced NŪRANGE Vanilla Latte in 200ml cans which, with a twist of the container base, heat themselves to 135°F or 57°C in five minutes using Tempra technology. As I was not too sure about bringing a self-heating can of liquid home in my hold luggage, though the LSS team told me it would be safe (and IATA-permissible) to do so, I consumed this in my hotel room while in Riyadh. I am not a great fan of coconut milk, but in this case the taste wasn’t too overpowering, and while I mostly drink my coffee black I thought the piping hot vanilla latte (decanted into a hotel mug for the photo) was quite acceptable. A green tick mark appears on the top of the can when reaches the correct temperature, and as the self-heater itself retains heat for up to an hour the drink stays warmer much longer if left in and drunk from the can. Again possibly a bit bulky and heavy for field carry, but a treat if operating from a remote base with minimal facilities.

The JOINT-FORCES mobile headquarters set up in a Riyadh hotel room ~ the Vanilla Latte coffee has been decanted into a mug for the photo but the contents will retain their heat for ages if drunk from the can
[© Bob Morrison]

As is to be expected, LSS meals are Halal-certified where appropriate.

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For more on LSS see:-

The LSS (Loyalty Support Services) expo sales team in Aqaba at SOFEX 2022 [© Bob Morrison]
The ever-smiling LSS expo sales team a little further from home in Riyadh at WDS24 [© Bob Morrison]

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