What the great ate | Arkansas Blog

What the great ate

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To start a slow Sunday, a book note.

I got an e-mail yesterday from Mark Jacob, a former newspaper colleague who's now deputy metro editor of the Chicago Tribune. He and his brother Matt, North Little Rock natives, have written a new book, “What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame.”

You can read more about the book at its website. But here's a taste of the food foibles of the famous and infamous they've chronicled:

* When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was in U.S. custody, he demanded Raisin Bran Crunch instead of Froot Loops.

* Elvis Presley once flew more than 800 miles just to eat a sandwich. But what a sandwich: The “Fool’s Gold” served by a Denver area restaurant was an entire loaf of Italian bread hollowed out and stuffed with peanut butter, grape jelly, and a pound of bacon.

* Actress Angelina Jolie praised a Cambodian delicacy as a “high-protein snack food.” It was otherwise known as cockroaches.

* Maya Lin came up with her concept for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when she fashioned a model out of mashed potatoes in a Yale University cafeteria.

* Actor Paul Newman was so obsessed with the perfect salad dressing that during a dinner date at a restaurant, he carried his salad into the men’s room, washed it clean and returned to the table to re-dress it himself.

* Astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich into space in 1965.

Sounds like fun.

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