Salon does its part to celebrate Elvis Week with a hysterical excavation of the King’s eating habits, “Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Bacon.” At the end of his life, Elvis had ballooned up startlingly:

In the Vegas twilight of his career, Elvis Presley donned jumpsuits of silver lamé with electric-blue sashes, looking like an elephant in lingerie as he teetered across the stage, flinging damp hankies at his female admirers. Every bulge and bump on his sagging 250-pound physique was brazenly revealed. Who were his haberdashers? And is it still possible to prosecute them?

So what went down the gullet of one of the most celebrated weight-gainers of all time? Robert Sietsema of course investigates the legendary toasted peanut butter and banana sandwich, which, to his surprise, tastes delicious, “the salty peanut butter playing off the hyper-sweet banana.” He also finds that the sammy hovers around 500 calories, no lightweight, but surprisingly light compared to a Big Mac with cheese at 740 calories.

According to Sietsema (and the pile of Elvis-themed cookbooks and biographies the author ingested for his Salon piece), Elvis also chowed down on squirrels, opossums, pig’s feet, chitterlings, meatloaf, “wet” barbecue pork sandwiches, roast beef, boneless fried chicken, mac ’n’ cheese, and weenie and sauerkraut sandwiches. Whoa! However, as Lauren points out on her personal blog Faux Real, many of these dishes aren’t fantastical Elvisean creations, they’re just good ol’ Southern dishes:

My dad shares stories about picking birdshot out of bites of opossum stew at a business gathering no more than fifteen years ago, capped off with somebody’s White Lightning bathtub liquor, or how he’s been to restaurants where they served your roasted raccoon with one foot still attached so you as a diner were assured that you weren’t eating a feral cat.

Oh my. Oh my. I just … I just don’t know what to say about that. I really don’t.

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