We're nearing the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, but Elvis lives on in our hearts and our hankerin' for a heart-stopping peanut butter and jelly -- plus banana, plus bacon, all of it (your call) deep-fried -- sandwich. Two new books serve as reminders: Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood Sandwiches, which includes a chapter on the "Elvis Special"; and Roy Blount Jr.'s Long Time Leaving: Dispatches From Up South (Knopf).
Blount recounts the time Elvis flew with some friends from Memphis to Denver for his favorite: a sandwich known as the "Fool's Gold." Blount writes: "It sounds like the kind of thing a person ought to do when a certain kind of sandwich means more to him than a certain amount of money." Then Blount estimates that the trip, including Elvis' order from Denver's Colorado Gold Mine Company restaurant, cost him $16,000. How slick is that? Not very, if your heart is set on "a slick go-down." That's Southern for what Blount in his book defines as a morsel that can be eaten easily. Morsel? The recipe for the "Fool's Gold" that Elvis & Co. flew from Memphis to Denver to eat calls for a loaf of buttered bread loaded with peanut butter, jelly, and a pound of fried bacon. The King ordered 22.