Why Olive Garden’s Breadsticks Are So Darn Delicious

Why Olive Garden’s Breadsticks Are So Darn Delicious


Be honest — you’re not going to Olive Garden
for the pasta. You’re going for the unlimited breadsticks. There’s no doubt that these buttery, garlicky
sticks are delightful, but have you ever stopped to think about just what makes them so delicious? Let’s find out. Breadsticks are so important to the Olive
Garden way of life that some locations actually have dedicated breadstick makers. Yes, it’s apparently true. According to one Redditor claiming to be an
Olive Garden employee, their entire job was simply to, quote, “make glorious breadsticks.” This does seem to vary by location, as another
Reddit expert indicated that their franchise only used a dedicated breadstick maker on
the weekend. Either way, though, it’s good to know that
Olive Garden treats their breadsticks as seriously as we do. “Ooh, breadsticks!” According to one dedicated breadstick maker,
a typical Olive Garden goes through more than 2,000 breadsticks every night. But baking them is only the first step. Perhaps the most important part is painting
them with a proprietary concoction. According to Cosmopolitan, Olive Garden breadsticks
are coated with a special topping made primarily of melted butter. “Can we have the butter with the breadsticks? Like a s–tload of butter?” “Extra butter.” “It actually says that on the menu: s–tload
of butter.” Plus, there’s garlic salt. But it’s not the kind of garlic salt you can
just pick up at Trader Joe’s. No, this is a variety of garlic salt made
special just for Olive Garden breadsticks. And once the concoction is concocted, employees
paint it onto the breadsticks using a giant brush. The only downside is that dedicated breadstick
makers end up smelling like garlic butter by the end of their shift. But, is that even really a downside? Newsflash: eating endless breadsticks slathered
in butter is not the healthiest thing you can do. First, there’s the breadstick itself. Each stick has 140 calories and 2.5 grams
of fat. That’s not so bad… if you can manage to
eat just one. But since they’re so yummy, it’s hard to eat
one, and the numbers can add up quickly. Especially when it comes to salt. Thanks to the salt included in the secret
concoction, each breadstick has 460 milligrams of sodium. If you eat, say, three, that would give you
1380 milligrams of sodium — which is a ton considering the Amaerican heart Association
suggests the average adult should only have 1,500 milligrams of sodium in an entire day. Yikes! Breadsticks are, obviously, a shareable appetizer. What’s not so obvious is that this fact actually
makes them taste better. Yes, it’s strange, but according to a study
at Yale, people who ate food around other people eating the same thing typically enjoyed
it more than if they were the only one eating a particular dish. Olive Garden also enhances this experience
by making the breadsticks unlimited. Usually in a communal eating experience, there’s
a social expectation that you shouldn’t eat the last of the food. So by removing this barrier, people eat more
— and eat happier, because they aren’t stressed about making a faux pas [foh PAH]. It makes for a lovely dining experience. “Take yesterday, for example. We were out at the Olive Garden for dinner. Which was lovely.” Though Olive Garden breadsticks aren’t completely
authentic Italian cuisine, they do have their roots in old Italy. According to Thrillist, there are two traditional
Italian foods similar to Olive Garden breadsticks: taralli, which is a sort of flaky-but-fried
bread that’s part pretzel, part breadstick, and Grissini, which was invented in the 17th
century as first a royal food, then an affordable option for on-the-go peasants. Either way, breadsticks became popular in
America thanks to something else: the pizza that immigrants also brought. Breadsticks were initially made to use up
some of the leftover dough! Unfortunately, some Olive Garden shareholders
think the breadsticks are too popular. In 2014, one of the company’s primary shareholders
criticized Olive Garden’s practices, including the distribution of unlimited free breadsticks. Olive Garden publicly responded, saying, “Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks have
been an icon of brand equity since 1982. It conveys Italian generosity.” “Dude, we’re here – we’re family!” “Yeah, when we’re here, we’re family!” “We’re here, we’re family! We’re here, we’re family! Let’s do this! OLIVE GARDEN!!” So there you have it. No need to feel self conscious — Olive Garden
wants us to eat more. And since it would be bad manners to refuse
such hospitality, go ahead and pass us the breadsticks when you’re done. Because your stomach may not be happy, but
your mouth will love it. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
restaurants are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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