The Elvis Sandwich was the King of Rock n Roll’s favorite snack, and the Fool’s Gold Loaf was his most famous.
For a long time, I thought these tasty bits of culinary pop culture history were one and the same, but it turns out they are different, albeit similar, in their construction and impact.
Presley enjoyed a selection of weird and dangerously unhealthy food options, and they certainly contributed to his declining health before his untimely death in 1977.
I’ll take you through both of these sandwiches done the King’s Way, provide you with tips on creating more sensible versions of each, then tell you which one tastes the best! I’ve also hidden a few of the King’s song names throughout the story, see if you can spot them all.
The Elvis Sandwich
If you’ve managed to make or eat an Elvis Sandwich before, you’ll know how tasty the combination of bacon, banana, and peanut butter slathered between two hunks of fresh buttery bread can be.
The unfortunate thing about the Elvis Sandwich was the absolute heart attack-inducing amount of calories it contained.
Presley often ate his good luck charm more than once a day, with his personal chef always on call to whip one up fresh before he put on his blue suede shoes.
While not as scarily unhealthy for the heart as our next contestant, the Elvis Sandwich contained almost 1 pound of bacon, 1-2 bananas, and a jar of peanut butter. A fool such as I had no idea how he even kept that thing together!
The Fool’s Gold Loaf
The Fool’s Gold loaf was an entire hollowed-out loaf of white bread (French, crusty style) filled with an entire jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon.
It reportedly contained 8,000 calories and has been the subject of numerous stories, television episodes, and food challenges since its mid-1970s inception.
As told in David Adler’s Book, “The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley”, the King once flew to Colorado Mine Company restaurant in Denver, who first made the Fool’s Gold Loaf for him on a previous visit.
Presley, who rolled in with an entourage from Nashville’s law enforcement on that famous flight, ordered 30 of the sandwiches, which at the time cost $49.95 (nearly $230 in today’s currency).
The King and his friends ate the sandwiches and got stuck into some Champagne over the next couple of hours, then flew back to Nashville.
Elvis made sure he got the recipe for his own personal chef to make him the Fool’s Gold loaf for the good times when the mood took him.
It’s Now or Never to Make them Better
So, to make an Elvis Sandwich that will keep you out of the Heartbreak Hotel, you’ll need to do the following:
1. Use normal sliced white or wholemeal bread. Not two chunks that look like pieces of masonry.
2. Under no circumstances, do you need butter to make the Elvis Sandwich (I know, it makes me sad too). You don’t need to bind the sandwich thanks to the melty peanut butter, and the taste gets lost between the balance of salty sweetness.
2. Don’t cook everything in a pan, with all that butter and bacon grease. Firstly, it’s overkill, and secondly, it makes a grease filled mess of a sandwich that looks like it’s been run over a couple of times.
3. Prepare your components separately, or be lazy and put them in a toastie machine to keep it all sealed up tight.
4. Be frugal with your toppings for this one too. A smear of peanut butter on each side of the bread, half a banana either smashed or sliced thin, and a rasher or two of bacon is all you need for a sandwich that shakes, rattles, and rolls.
You can also make a healthier Fool’s Gold Loaf, that even your hound dog will enjoy:
1. Don’t use an entire French loaf, aim for a hollowed-out butt of bread, or better yet two pieces of toasted sourdough instead.
2. Cook your bacon in the air fryer, and trim it up before cooking. That way, there’s less fat, almost no oil, and it comes out perfectly crispy.
3. I shouldn’t need to tell you this bit, but avoid using entire jars of peanut butter and jelly, instead just a swipe or two of each. I’d also argue that you use the crunchy kind of peanut butter, but that’s entirely up to you.
Sure, it isn’t as extravagant as a flight to Denver for $600 worth of bread, bacon, and condiments, but it won’t give you a heart attack or clog up the insides either!
I have to side with the King on this one, and I’m not all shook up about it. He travelled a long way on a whim for the Fool’s Gold Loaf, but the Elvis Sandwich was the big hunk o’ love he always came back to.SKM: below-content placeholder