My wife and I were enjoying dinner at our local Outback Steakhouse, and the conversation over the bread came up.

"Why is the bread brown?"

Of course, I made the Mean Girls reference about how we can't ask bread why it's brown, but that led us down the investigative rabbit hole.

Many restaurants offer free food before the meal. For example, bread is available at Outback Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse, chips at El Porton, and many other Mexican restaurants. Olive Garden's bread is "technically" free as long as you buy an entrée.

But we never look at those items and question them. How are they made?

We just assume it's the typically made food to help us not get hangry while waiting for the actual meal.

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Perhaps to fill us up before the food, so we can get in and out faster.

There are several different thoughts for the "pre-game" of the appetizer.

bread and butter from outback steakhouse

But why is Outback's bread brown?

I asked the server, and they told us it was dark cocoa powder.

Cocoa in bread that doesn't make the bread taste like cake?

Sure enough, a quick Google search, and according to, the bread gets its dark color from ingredients: cocoa powder, molasses, and caramel or brown food coloring.

Looking at Outback's website, I couldn't find an official ingredient list, so unless it's a well-kept secret, now we know.

If you have a cocoa allergy, did you already know? Or is it in such a low amount that it doesn't affect you? Tap the App and let us know.

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