by Anna Marie Trotman

Does Eggplant Induce Labor?

There is a restaurant outside of Atlanta, Georgia that is legendary among mamas for serving a dish that brings on labor! Since 1980 hundreds of women have eaten the Eggplant Parmesan at Scalini’s and shortly after have gone into labor. There is even a wall in the restaurant with photos of  “Eggplant Babies” and testimonials on their website! While the urban legend states this recipe will induce labor and there is no real scientific proof, the idea can be a fun thing to talk about and defiantly something to enjoy. However, just in case you are considering bringing baby into the world sooner than later, we recommend you are at least 39 weeks before chowing down on the eggplant parm.

Is It Urban Legend, Old Wives’ Tale, or ????

The legend of the restaurant started with the manager Bogino who may be the first known “eggplant baby” in Atlanta. Bogino’s father cooked the now famous dish for his pregnant wife in 1977. It’s a recipe that came from the old country and has been handed down through the family. It was an old Italian wives’ tale that this meal would help induce labor and so after mama ate the eggplant parmesan with the delicious sauce and the herbs and the spices, Bogino was born. His mother told her friends, who told their friends, and here we are today.

There are some theories about how this might work, it could be the eggplant combined with the spices and the cheese, no one really knows. Science is pretty unconvinced about the validity of an eggplant induced birth, but we’re not doing a scientific study. While science may not have proof, the many centuries’ worth of anecdotal reports is strong. Winston Cardwella naturopathic physician and former chef in Atlanta says; “People have used herbal and dietary medicine forever.  There are over 40 biochemical constituents in eggplant, many of which have long been used medicinally in the Mediterranean, India, and other parts of the world.”

The Recipe

Bogino’s recipe isn’t a family secret; it’s available on their website. Begin with three sliced eggplants, skin-on for extra vitamins, breaded, and fried. Layer lasagna-style with cheese, cheese, and more cheese (pecorino romano, parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta) between marinara sauce. This may be the magic part: two cloves of garlic (or more), tomatoes, onions, and olive oil with spices galore (parsley, oregano, crushed red peppers, basil, thyme, and rosemary). Bake for 25 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Serve with warm crusty bread and a salad.

Since you probably won’t want to travel to Atlanta you can get the proportions and recipe here