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Famous Eaters - Elvis Presley


Each month we look at famous people - past and present - who love their grub

Burger King

NAME: Elvis Aron Presley

BORN: 8 Jan 1935, Tupelo, Mississippi

DIED: 16 August 1977, Gracelands, Memphis,Tennessee, aged 42

FAVOURITE FOODS: Elvis was famous for his love of the food he grew up with in the poverty stricken South. Sloppy Joes were a regular item on the Presley table, as were barbecue pork pizzas. Burgers were another of his culinary weak spots, but the dish for which he is most famous is the artery-clogging fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. In fact, it is claimed that for one period of seven weeks, he ate nothing else.

HIS LIFE AND HIS FOOD: There is little doubt that one of the loves of Presley's life was food. Elvis grew up with food that was a far cry from the delicacies that later adorned his table. Squirrels, possums, pig's trotters and ears and turnip greens were all used to feed the growing boy.

In 1948 the Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where, six years later, he began his singing career. By 1956, he was an international sensation. But, it wasn't long before his tremendous appetite for all things bad began to take its toll. The 1960s saw a decline in his popularity. In the late 1960s, to boost his career, he

reinvented himself as "The King".

But still he continued to over-indulge, claiming that he had to keep up his energy for the shows. Such was his love for the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that he once flew to Denver and had 22 of them delivered to the runway before flying back to Memphis. He never even left the plane.

Elvis's recordings and his live performances declined during the '70s as he gained weight and became increasingly dependent on prescription drugs. In 1977, he died, not surprisingly, of a heart attack. His last food was reported to have been four scoops of ice cream and six chocolate chip cookies. Elvis had, most definitely, left the building.

Famous in life, but as famous in death, 2005 marks the year that would have seen Elvis's 70th birthday. The public's love of all things Elvis will certainly provide licensees with plenty of scope to cash in on this anniversary year. Theme nights with look-a-like competitions, karaoke and themed menus will all be popular, giving chefs an opportunity to recreate the dishes that Elvis enjoyed.

Possum might be a bit tricky though.