A K-ration is a kind of comestible. K-rations are not normally generated, but soldiers (of all ranks) have a 1/3 chance of starting with one, so they are commonly found while assaulting the castle and Fort Ludios. K-rations and C-rations are effectively identical, except that K-rations have a higher nutrition value.
K-rations can be eaten in one move, making them valuable for nutritional purposes when you are in desperate situations. In fact, they have the highest nutritional value of any one turn comestible and are therefore the favored form of nutrition for the Astral Plane (and facing Famine).
K-rations are suitable for vegans.
The K ration was the [ Quartermaster Subsistence Research
and Development Laboratory's ] answer to the demand for an
individual, easy-to-carry ration that could be used in
assault and combat operations. It was noted for compactness
and superior packaging and was acknowledged as the ration
that provided the greatest variety of nutritionally balanced
components within the smallest space.
[ Special Rations for the Armed Forces, 1946-53,
by Franz A. Koehler ]
- makemon.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 552: soldiers starting with K-rations