Elvis Presley's Favorite Sandwich Was Both Sweet And Savory

For over two decades, Elvis Presley delighted audiences with a sound that blended genres, and from that melding of styles, what we now know as pop music was born. The King was also a foodieblog, and his adoration for culinary satisfaction is well-known. The most infamous example of his fondness for savory and sweet is showcased on menus throughout the South — the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, or the Elvis Presley sandwich, depending on who you talk to.

The Elvis Presley sandwich is humble and savory, with a toothsome kick that adds a depth of sweetness, much like The King himself. A few variations of the original recipe exist, but one straightforward version calls for two humble slices of white bread, peanut butter, a sliced banana, and a few strips of bacon. The key is to fry the bread slices in a generous helping of bacon grease or butter open-faced once topped before putting them together. Once toasty, they get pressed together until some peanut butter starts creeping out the sides of the sandwich for a crunchy, savory, and sweet ooey-gooey delight.

The Elvis Presley sandwich was a long-time staple of the South before Elvis brought it into the culinary limelight. For Southerners, comfort food is simply a way of life, and the unique combination of sweet, savory, crunchy, and gooey fits the bill. Elvis loved this dish so much that he ate them all the time, once even taking a trip across the country to get one.

Odd to some, but a Southern standard

Some went as far as suggesting that the only times Elvis seemed truly happy was when he was eating, perhaps yearning for the nostalgia of days before stardom when enjoying the simple pleasures in life was gratifying. The blend of flavors in a peanut butter banana sandwich was reminiscent of memories of the South, where the sandwich was far from odd. According to some, the sensationalism surrounding this Southern standard was caused by the media's fascination with it. When asked what kinds of foods Elvis ate, his stepbrother told Forbes, "Well, he ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and I did too. I grew up on them; they're from the South! The media has made it a thing that it's a special sandwich."

One night after a concert in Denver, Elvis and his entourage stopped into the Colorado Mine restaurant for a late meal, where he was presented a version of his treasured PB bacon banana sandwich called the Fool's Gold Loaf — a behemoth constructed with a loaf of sourdough bread, a pound of bacon, and a jar of peanut butter and jelly each. Enamored with this take on a beloved classic, he got on his private plane one night and flew to Denver to have one, eating the sandwich on the tarmac after having it delivered to the airport. Though he didn't often take a cross-country trip to get his hands on one, his love for this Southern classic was unparalleled.

Other foods The King loved

For years, at any hour of the day and night, The King of Rock would request the Elvis Presley sandwich from his personal chef, Mary Jenkins. As she told BBC 4 back in 1995, "If he wanted them in the morning when he woke up, I would have to fix 'em. If he wanted them at two o'clock in the morning, I would have to still fix them for him. Whenever he got a taste for them, he'd call down, and that's what he wanted. I'd imagine that helped to make him heavy because he wanted them real rich."

Growing up eating sloppy joes in Memphis at 14, Elvis had a sensational appetite for Southern cuisine. Fried chicken, cornbread, meatloaf, and macaroni salad were all foods Elvis ate frequently. Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que in Memphis was a common destination for Elvis, as was a Greek diner called Arcade, where he was reportedly fond of ordering cheeseburgers.

John Lennon once stated, according to the LA Times, "Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles." It may also be true that without Elvis, the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich would remain an overlooked Southern treasure that only a select few appreciate. If you've never tried one and you're feeling adventurous, fry one up and try it yourself. It's a way to experience some culinary history, and you might not be able to stop yourself from rushing in and falling in love with this gooey treat fit for a King.