It seems unfathomable that Canadian soldiers worldwide have been heretofore deprived of cheese curds and gravy — but there you have it. Mercifully, the Toronto Sun reports that the era of poutine-less rations is over. The culinary staple recently made the 2015 Canadian Combat Rations Program menu. The individual meal packs, or IMPs, are made in Montreal in accordance with NATO standards. As such, "IMPs must provide 3,600 calories per day" and be shelf stable for years inside a custom-built container called a retort pouch.
Certain concessions must be made to accommodate hostile, battlefield conditions. This is where poutine purists may take umbrage. For the military's recipe, "fries were replaced with cooked potatoes then topped with gravy, cheese curds and some chicken for protein. When conditions permit, the foods are better heated, but can be consumed directly from the pouches without any cooking if need be." What other rations do Canadian soldiers enjoy abroad? Try spaghetti and meatballs, chicken fajitas, turkey stew, beef pot roast with mushroom sauce, salmon and, for the first time this year, pulled pork.