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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Banana Fanna Fo Felvis

September 3, 2007

Banana Fanna Fo Felvis

Elvis is alive… on candy wrappers.

I walked into a convenience store yesterday and ran into the King of Rock and Roll.

Immediately inside the front entrance of the store sat a huge display of a newly introduced candy: Collector’s Edition Reese’s Peanut Butter and Banana Crème cups—the Elvis edition.

The Elvis edition peanut butter cup has a photo of the King on the wrapper and a ribbon of banana-flavored filling inside the candy bar. The peanut butter-banana cup seemed to be something that Elvis might have liked. Impulsively, I grabbed one.

Elvis’ favorite food was a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Not the average meal fit for a king, but certainly fitting enough to be eaten in a jungle room outfitted with crush velvet furniture, shag carpeting, and the Memphis Mafia.

The photo on the candy wrapper was of the 1950s Elvis, not the late 1970s Elvis after he had eaten one-too-many peanut butter and banana sandwiches
I needed a drink to accompany the candy. I tried to think of what Elvis’ favorite beverage might have been but I had no clue. I narrowed my guesses down to a RC Cola or an Orange Crush. Ultimately, I thought that the orange flavoring might take away from the taste-testing of the banana and, since neither was in a small glass bottle, I opted for an RC.

Also, if I’m not mistaken, RC stands for Royal Crown, so it made perfect sense to purchase a royal beverage to accompany a candy featuring the King of Rock and Roll.

The chocolate-peanut-banana cup tasted mostly like a regular peanut butter cup except that there was a slight hint of banana flavor— similar to a banana popsicle.

A banana Popsicle doesn’t taste like a banana. It tastes like what the people at the Popsicle plant think a banana tastes like. The corporate chefs at Hershey, the parent company of Reese’s, must have been talking to the banana people at people at the Popsicle plant.

The Collector’s Edition Reese’s Peanut Butter and Banana Crème cup seemed like a candy that might have been initially conceived late at night on the Willie Nelson tour bus. It tasted like someone dipped a regular peanut butter cup into a glass filled with melted banana Popsicle juice. Realizing this, I came to the conclusion that Elvis would have loved the Collector’s Edition Reese’s cup.

Last year I filmed a television show at a place called Graceland Two in Holly Springs, Miss. Graceland Two is operated by a man who has dedicated his entire life to all things Elvis. For the purposes of the television program I had to do a cooking demo in the house. I prepared a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

The sandwich was surprisingly good. I cooked it as one would a grilled cheese sandwich. I was told that Elvis’ cook spread a lot of butter on the outside of his sandwiches. I opted for spray margarine which is what I use when I’m preparing grilled cheese sandwiches for my children.

I cooked the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich on a George Foreman Grill which wasn’t around when Elvis was alive. However, had the grill been around in the 1970s, I’ll bet Graceland would have had one in every room. George Foreman looks like he might have scarfed down a few fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches over the years.

The banana in the sandwich I prepared at Graceland Two tasted like banana, not like a Popsicle. The peanut butter I used was Reese’s. It is, in my opinion, the best-tasting peanut butter on the market.

I have heard that Elvis liked to add honey or bacon to his fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. There is no word yet as to whether Hershey will be adding a Limited Edition bacon and banana-flavored peanut butter cup. Stay tuned.

S’more Squares

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 /4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar

1 pound semisweet chocolate
1 /2 cup sugar1 1 /2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 1 /2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff (7 ounces)
3 cups marshmallows

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray the inside of a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture firmly into sprayed pie tin, covering bottom and sides.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For filling:
Combine chocolate, sugar and heavy whipping cream and melt in a double boiler. Stir until melted. Pour 2 /3 of the chocolate mixture onto the crust distributing it evenly. Set in refrigerator and allow this layer to harden while preparing the second layer.

For the second layer, add the Fluff to the remaining chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the firm chocolate layer and spread it out evenly.

Using a wet, sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into thin discs (three discs per marshmallow). Arrange the discs on top of the chocolate marshmallow layer. Place in the freezer for 24 hours.

After the squares have been frozen, brown the marshmallows underneath a hot broiler.
Allow to cool once more.

Dip a sharp knife into hot water and carefully cut into squares.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Yield: 24 squares

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