Pregnant moms in the third trimester can be rather eager to deliver. While pregnancy is often a joyful experience, by the end of 40 weeks, it can be uncomfortable, if not downright painful — on top of mom’s desire to meet her little one! While there are many home remedies which are said to help labor to begin, one restaurant reportedly has a legendary recipe that has gained its own cult following.
Scalini’s Italian Restaurant in Georgia is famous for what they call their “eggplant babies” — children born after their pregnant moms had a delicious serving of the restaurant’s eggplant parmesan. And with each new delivery, the restaurant celebrates, placing baby photos and newspaper announcements on their walls. Today, there are nearly 300 photos of the “eggplant babies” after 25 years of cooking, with a rumored 1,000 women having gone into labor within 48 hours of eating the famous dish.
TODAY previously reported that an estimated two to six pregnant women visit the restaurant each day in hopes of kick-starting labor. Any pregnant visitor is asked to sign the restaurant’s baby book; if they do, indeed, go into labor within 48 hours, they receive a $25 gift card, a Scalini’s onesie, and a spot on the legendary baby photo wall.
According to restaurant manager Robert Bogino, some women even had their water break before getting the chance to pay for their meal. “That’s always exciting when that happens. Once, a father even came up and said, ‘Can we get our food to go?’ I think his wife really wanted to get going to the hospital, though,” Bogino said, adding, “People even have their pets try it — there are dogs and bunnies on the wall.”
There’s no telling why the eggplant parmesan helps, though Bogino pointed out, “You have to believe a little bit, too.”
Yvonne Zusel, a writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said the Salini’s famous dish was even recommended by her obstetrician. “When you’ve been growing a human inside of you for nine months, you’re willing to try anything,” Zusel wrote. “And, so, I trekked to Smyrna to try to pop out an Eggplant Baby.” She noted that she was far from the only heavily-pregnant patron there that night.
Owner John Bogino told Zusel they weren’t sure what caused the eggplant parmesan to be so successful in pushing women into labor. “We’ve never been able to narrow it down,” he said. “It’s something about the combination of the eggplant and the spices we use. All I know is that we’ll never change the recipe — we don’t want to take out anything that might be responsible.”
For Zusel, the recipe didn’t work; she didn’t deliver her very own “eggplant baby.” But the restaurant website still boasts hundreds of birth stories, including from people as far away as Canada. The eggplant parmesan recipe has been posted online, giving anyone the opportunity to get a little Scalini’s magic.
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