What Really Led To The Creation Of Elvis Presley's Signature Sandwich

How many times have you walked up to the bartender and asked for a Shirley Temple or an Arnold Palmer when you're jonesing for something sweet and refreshing? Imagine becoming so famous that the world names a beverage or meal after you. That's the dream of all dreams, no? How about an Elvis Presley? Did you ever ask your mom to whip you up one of those as an after school snack? Maybe you've never even heard of an Elvis Presley sandwich. Regardless, the simple recipe has been around for decades, but it became especially popular after the King of Rock N' Roll decided it should bear his own moniker and carry his culinary legacy.

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, the sultan of Graceland used to religiously gobble down peanut butter and banana sandwiches. His longtime personal chef Mary Jenkins Langston reported that Presley had some seriously nostalgic taste buds, so he never lost his fondness for simple snacks that always brought him back to happier times. "He said that the only thing in life he got any enjoyment out of was eating, and he liked his food real rich," Langston once shared (via South Florida Sun Sentinel). 

Elvis goes bananas

Southern Living reports that Elvis Presley developed his proclivity for peanut butter and banana sandwiches after he indulged in one while on tour one day. After that, it became Langston's primary objective to provide them whenever the King beckoned. "If he wanted them in the morning when he woke up, I would have to fix them. If he wanted them at two o'clock in the morning, I would still have to fix them for him," she explained. "Whenever he got a taste for them, he'd call down, and that's what he wanted."

However, it took a hot second to match the recipe with Elvis's uncompromisingly high standards. It had to be perfect, and perfection doesn't come without some trial and error. For a while, it seemed like a fool's errand for Langston as she tried over and over again to make it just right. Then, with a little bit of unexpected help, the Elvis Presley was born (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). 

Elvis's father offered a helping hand

According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, it was Vernon Presley (Elvis's father) who presented an alternative approach. He suggested to Langston that she try toasting the bread before tossing it into the frying pan, and as it turned out, it worked wonders. At last, the King was satisfied, and he finally had the sandwich of his dreams ready to be devoured whenever he wanted. Lest we forget, is there really any happiness without butter? "It'd be just floating in butter," Ms. Langston revealed about the frying process. "You'd turn it and turn it and turn it until they soaked up all the butter. That's when Elvis liked it."

The Elvis Presley also features a wholesome amount of bacon, if you weren't salivating enough by now. As Atlas Obscura reports, the first version of the sandwich that Elvis fell in love with held about a pound's worth of crispy bacon between its bread slices.