Bumpy car rides. Castor oil. Acupressure. Walking. As Elizabeth nears her due date of September 18, nearly everybody has a trick for coaxing the onset of labor. Last week, Elizabeth’s brother, Jim, sent us the best tip yet. An Italian restaurant in Georgia claims that more than 300 pregnant women have given birth within 48 hours of eating its $11 Eggplant Parmigiana.
John Bogino, the owner of Scalini’s, in Smyrna, Georgia, explained the legend of the Eggplant Parmigiana to “Good Morning America”:
“Two or three years after we began, a few people had just mentioned to us they came in when they were pregnant, and ate this eggplant and had a baby a short time after that… One person told another, and it just grew by itself by leaps and bounds.”
Ridiculous, right? Maybe, but if you’ve ever been pregnant or you’ve lived with a pregnant woman, then you don’t need me to tell you that nothing’s ridiculous at this point. Plus, it’s eggplant parmesan, not castor oil, so why not?
Here’s one reason: Scalini’s recipe takes a really long time. But if you’ve got the time, it’s also really good, old-school Italian food. I’m not crazy about eggplant, but this was good enough to eat for dinner last night and then finish off for lunch today.
Will it work? We’ll let you know on Monday night. In the meantime, Snopes is on the case with a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the eggplant legend is absolute hogwash. On the other hand, here’s Scalini’s baby wall. If you’re looking for a faster, less labor-intensive method, here’s our recipe for a quick-broiled eggplant parmesan that takes less than 30 minutes.
UPDATE: I just ran into my neighbor Wendy, who in the course of talking about births and such, told me about another food–>labor anecdote. A week past her due date, Wendy told me, she and her husband Mark went to Amherst Chinese because she’d heard that certain spices were thought to stimulate labor. Just after she ordered Mu Shu Chicken, she went into labor, so they asked to have the food to go. In the car on the way home, Wendy opened her fortune cookie and it read: Don’t wait.