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Is creamed chipped beef only liked by the people who were or are currently in the military?

I'm a Marine, and I remember eating "Shit on a Shingle" in bootcamp in Paris Island. For some reason, it was so damn good, and I am kind of nostalgic for it now that I've been out for quite some time. I was thinking of making it on the Marine Corps Birthday, but I don't think it would be the same. Ahh, memories

I don't know if chow halls across the branches all had it, but the Island certainly did. So my question is, (I'm sure there are exceptions), but there seems to be a higher affinity for that milky white with brown-bits crap slathered on burnt toast from people in the military, is it only us? Or do non-military people really like that too?

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  1. I love Creamed Chipped Beef....my Nana made it from scratch yet we grew up on Stouffers. It is always my first choice on a Breakfast Menu....the quetions is always, do they do it good?

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    1. re: christy1122

      Oh my goodness, none of my immediate family has ever been in the military, yet I'm in love with SOS. Not sure how or where I grew to love it, I think it must have been through my mother somehow. I tend to get the Stouffer's frozen, it's very good.

    2. I grew up on eating creamed chipped beef often. My maternal grandmother was from northern Maryland where there was a lot of influence from the PA Dutch type of cooking, which I somehow associate with CB. I was at my parents' yesterday at lunchtime and my father asked my mother where the leftover CB was - they had apparently treated themselves for dinner the night before. My mother said "too late - I already ate it. Snooze you lose!"

      15 Replies
      1. re: Terrie H.

        Yes, it is extremely popular here in Central PA. I don't associate it with the military at all. My mother loves it, my husband loves it and many others in my family with no military experience. It never occurred to me to associate this with the military.

        Stouffers makes it? I don't think they even sell that around here. It is always homemade, but I've never made it, personally.

        1. re: centralpadiner

          I am a PA Dutcher and creamed chipped beef on toast is very popular. I don't care for it in the creamed form but as a child I liked to eat the dried beef just plain, right out of the package.

          1. re: cleobeach

            I tried to explain to my mother that the dried beef at the Amish butcher in Germantown was worth the drive vs Buddig - I could eat that stuff without the cream gravy in a heartbeat.

            1. re: Terrie H.

              dried beef "roll ups" are regularly found at parties in my area. dried beef spread with cream cheese and rolled to form a tube.

              1. re: cleobeach

                You brought back great memories, Cleo! My grand mom used to give me those when I was small. Sometimes, we'd be forced to substitute Lebanon bologna, but it was just never the same.

            2. re: cleobeach

              I live in Amish coiuntry in Ohio and I also like creamed chipped beef but I only like it when it is made with a proper roux, plenty of meat and fresh black pepper.

              My father was a draftee Lt in Korea and mother mother was a Navy nurse but I was never in the service.

              1. re: Kelli2006

                I have a friend who visits from about 2 hours away periodically and times it so he can have the creamed chipped beef served over home fries at a local diner. Highly recommend home fries rather than toast.

            3. re: centralpadiner

              Stouffers must sell it there, when I visit my grandparents in Williamsport, it's in their freezer. It's pretty good in a hurry, if you see some around and have the urge for it, give it a try!

              1. re: centralpadiner

                stouffer's does it frozen; i think it's boil in bag? I like it alot; salty, creamy,mmmmm

              2. re: Terrie H.

                So I asked my soldier about this since I was lucky enough to hear from him tonight. He's a Cajun, which apparently means that SOS wasn't what he grew up with or would choose on the chow line. "Except if my other choice was goat.". Seriously.

                1. re: Terrie H.

                  We were passing through Ocean City, MD last year and saw a restaurant named "House of Chipped Beef". Unfortunately, we didn't have time to stop and check it out.

                    1. re: FarFar

                      Oh, you mean General's Kitchen. It says "House of Chipped Beef" under the name on the sign. I had breakfast there several times back in spring/summer 2005 and 2006 when I was in the area camping at Assateague State Park, taking long weekends after spending some time consulting with an organic farm a few hours north of Ocean City.

                      I tried the chipped beef breakfast and it was ok. My first and only time trying it. I thought it kind of interesting, in a boring kind of way.

                      But their scrapple was great. Crispy and browned outside and still creamy inside and very flavorful. Their breakfast steaks were very tasty too.

                      1. re: JMF

                        Apparently, the General's Kitchen has changed hands sometime in recent years and the chipped beef has suffered (this is per my mother, a chipped beef aficionada). Layton's on 92nd street has a very good version.

                    2. re: Terrie H.

                      My grandfather was PA Dutch and I grew up eating. I have not had it in quite awhile, but love the stuff. One of those comfort foods...and I need a dose!

                      ETA-Both my grandfathers were in the military and referred to it as SOS- the no PA Dutch one does not care for it, but eat hamburger gravy- not my favorite.

                    3. While in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, one form of SOS was Creamed Chipped Beef, but more often it was hamburger either in a tomato or cream-like sauce. The tomato-based version was my favorite, with the chipped beef coming in last. They only time they served SOS was for breakfast. I've never been a big fan of a heavy breakfast, and when it was available on the chow line I usually chose something else. Unlike bwinter714, however, I don't really miss any of them.

                      1. I grew up in the Navy and I LOVE SOS.

                        1. So Ok, maybe it's a southern thing. I grew up in Albany, NY, so we didn't get the southern comfort foods up here.

                          I think that the reason why I liked it too was because your body is pretty adept at recognizing calorie-laden food (survivial instinct), and when you're in bootcamp you need all the calories you can get. Just a thought of mine anyway. But I wouldn't mind going back to Paris Island (not for bootcamp, fuck, that was enough the first time around) and seeing if it is still as good as I remember it.