Olive Garden Just Added This Fried Shrimp Appetizer To Its Menu

But soft! What news from yonder Olive Garden breaks? A new appetizer for the Italian American casual dining chain has been announced: Shrimp Fritto Misto. As Chew Boom details, the dish features over a half pound of shrimp that's lightly breaded and fried. Alongside this are bell peppers, onions, and marinara and spicy ranch dipping sauces. The whole thing comes out to around $12.49, though the price will vary with location.

The Shrimp Fritto Misto is emphasized as a shareable appetizer and looking at the nutritional value of the dish, you'd better split it amongst many people. According to Chew Boom's information, anyone who finishes the dish by themselves will have taken on 5010 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Foundation recommends a daily sodium intake of 1500 milligrams but allows the fact that a more common limit is 2400 milligrams. Even with the more generous limit, the Shrimp Fritto Misto will fill you with more than double the amount of sodium you should have. And that's just an appetizer.

Plugging holes in the Olive Garden's offering

Besides the sodium, it's worth noting that the new Shrimp Fritto Misto has been announced at a point when reports of a controversial menu reduction are in the air.

On December 17, Business Insider revealed that Olive Garden was considering scrapping their Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. When this promotion runs, customers could get as much pasta and sauce as they desire for a set price. Essentially, it's a pasta buffet.

But, as Olive Garden's CEO Ricardo Cardenas said about the deal, "we know it was a negative impact." Basically, too many people came for the deal for the deal to be commercially viable. Moreover, Cardenas argues, as Olive Garden had enticed customers with this deal, they no longer need to resort to gimmicks to attract business. Now they can focus on things like introducing Shrimp Fritto Misto as a permanent appetizer.

But whether people would consider $12 for half a pound of shrimp to be the same kind of deal as a set price for endless pasta is yet to be seen.