PB & E

Jelly may make me think of peanut butter, but peanut butter makes me think of Elvis. And I’m not talking about this Elvis, I’m talking about this Elvis. Because let’s face it, peanut butter isn’t exactly diet food, and the King ate more than his share. Mostly in the form of the famous Elvis peanut butter and banana sandwich, which if you haven’t tried, you have no right to mock. The trick to this sandwich — if there can honestly be said to be one — is to first make a homogenous spread out of the mashed banana and peanut butter. I’m also told that the original recipe calls for the bread to be toasted lightly before the sandwich is assembled and the whole thing pan fried.

There are a couple of ersatz Elvis sandwiches out there, notably this one by Sara Moulton and Peanut Butter & Co. in New York. Granted, it has the virtue of being delicious (peanut butter and bacon is true heaven on toast), but it just isn’t based on historical reality. What it is based on is an entirely different, monstrous creation that Elvis was known to indulge in from time to time called “Fool’s Gold Loaf”. What is “Fool’s Gold Loaf”? Apparently it was the brainchild of the Colorado Gold Mine Company restaurant in suburban Denver. It consists of a hollowed-out loaf of premium white bread stuffed with a jarful of peanut butter, a jarful of jelly, and a pound of fried bacon (number of servings per unit: 1). As the story goes, the King had occasion to eat one of these things while on tour, and forever after flew his private jet, the Lisa Marie, from Memphis to Colorado to get them (sometimes in the middle of the night).

I can’t say I’ve ever had much desire to sample, much less prepare one of these cholesterol bombs (though I bet it would taste a lot better sitting in the Jungle Room). If you’re curious I’m told the way tackle the project is to split a loaf of commercial white bread lengthwise, remove as much crumb as you care to, then butter and griddle the halves on both sides. When they’re browned, slather on the peanut butter, then the jelly (so it won’t soak into the bread), pile on the bacon and close. Long live the King!

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