The Sandwich Elvis Presley Loved So Much, He Ate It By The Loaf

Elvis Presley's love of quirky cuisine has been extensively documented, almost as much as his iconic hip-shaking performances. Fans know how Elvis liked his meatloaf (with added wheat germ) and that The King's go-to drink was Gatorade, but one of his most famous food preferences was the peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich. Though he did not invent it, Presley has made the sandwich almost as renowned as his music, even 47 years after his death.

Called the Fool's Gold Loaf, it included a pound of bacon, a whole jar of creamy peanut butter, and an entire jar of blueberry preserves in a hollowed-out loaf of sourdough bread that was either heated or deep-fried; all together, it topped 8,000 calories. Elvis first tasted the Fool's Gold after a 1976 concert in Denver, Colorado, when he and his entourage headed to the now-shuttered Colorado Mine Company restaurant where it originated.

The King loved the sandwich so much that on February 1, 1976, he chartered a private jet back to Denver from Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, as a means to celebrate his daughter Lisa Marie Presley's eighth birthday. When Elvis landed at the Combs hangar at Stapleton Airport, he was met by staff members from the Colorado Mine Company with somewhere around 22 to 30 sandwiches for the birthday party. Soon after, the singer purchased the recipe from the restaurant before his death in 1977, asking his personal chef, W. Pauline Nicholson, to always have the ingredients on hand for when a craving struck.

The Fool's Gold Loaf harkened back to Elvis' childhood

Although Elvis had his first Fool's Gold Loaf as an adult in Denver, the sandwich actually resembles a Southern favorite he long enjoyed. The King grew up enjoying peanut butter and banana sandwiches that his mother Gladys prepared; they offered the same salty-sweet taste he loved in the Denver-born creation, albeit without the strips of bacon. Gladys grilled hers in bacon grease, which is how the sandwich is still served for visitors at Gladys' Diner at Graceland for $4.99. In fact, toasting bread in bacon fat delivers the same umami and smoky flavor without the meat.

While consuming an entire Fool's Gold Loaf in a single meal is a big task, the sandwich is the holy grail of contrasting tastes and textures. It balances salty bacon with sweet jelly and creamy peanut butter with crunchy bread. When heat is added to the culinary equation, the ingredients get melty and toasty, making it a well-rounded dish that's hard to forget.

Restaurants across the U.S., like Arcade Restaurant in Elvis' stomping grounds of Memphis, Tennessee, serve a hybrid of Fool's Gold Loaf and Gladys' PBB known as "The Elvis." The sandwich includes two slices of bread smeared with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and an option to add on bacon fried in bacon grease. If you can't find one near you, it may be worth taking the time to make one and feel like The King.