The Secret Ingredient In Elvis' Favorite Meatloaf

Since the 1950s, Elvis Presley's music, style, and moves have held fans captive. In more recent times, Graceland, Elvis's home until his death in 1977 at 42 years old, sees 500,000 visitors every year, and is among the five most visited homes in America, along with the White House, per Graceland. It's not just his good looks and music that people are intrigued by — People are also fascinated with what Elvis ate.

Perhaps one of the most well-known meals, which Elvis definitely made famous, is the peanut butter and banana sandwich. There are plenty of unconventional ways to use peanut butter, and eating it on bread with bananas is one of them. Still, there is another meal that Elvis adored: meatloaf.

In the Chicago Tribune, Mark Hussman, an Elvis impersonator says, "Elvis ate a lot of Southern food, he loved steak, and he loved meatloaf. His favorite food was meatloaf," explains Hussman. "He ate it every day for a month one year." Wow — that's a lot of meatloaves. Certainly, it was his southern roots and down-home cooking he grew up with that made him crave the stuff. The thing is, Elvis's favorite meatloaf recipe had something in it that you aren't likely adding to your meatloaf — but maybe you should.

A nutty filler

Most meatloaf is made rather traditionally and includes common ingredients such as ground beef, eggs, tomato sauce, onion, some crackers or bread, and salt and pepper. However, according to Forbes, the recipe found in Elvis's family cookbook, the Presley Family Cookbook, includes wheat germ. 

There are several types of popular grains today, but way back when, before grains were a hip way for the health-conscious to eat, Elvis's family understood how helpful wheat germ could be. When money was tight, wheat germ could fill in for some of the meat, stretching the meatloaf further. It must have been delicious because once Elvis could afford all the ground beef he could stand, he still wanted the old Presley recipe.

Bob's Red Mill writes that wheat germ has a light, nutty flavor, which probably gave Elvis's meatloaf great flavor. It's also full of dietary fiber as an added bonus. The next time you pull out the classic meatloaf recipe, consider adding a little wheat germ as a filler or just for a little nutty flavor.