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Whoa, baby!

Michelle Darrisaw
August 11, 2017

We know that eating certain foods can cause our bodies to react, and often times, it’s not pleasant. The way in which food negatively affects the body runs the gamut, from heartburn and indigestion to acid reflux and stomach pains. But never before have we heard of a dish that could induce your labor—until now. 

There’s one popular dish on the menu at Scalini's, a family-owned Italian restaurant in Smyrna, Georgia, that pulls double duty. Not only does the cheesy baked favorite keep its repeat customers satiated, but it’s also been rumored to help more than 1,000 pregnant women go into labor. That natural, delicious inducer is the Eggplant Parmigiana, priced at $13.50.

In an interview with TODAY Food, manager Robert Bogino said that at least one or two women a year have had their water break before they could even say, "Check, please!"

"That's always exciting when that happens," Bogino said. "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."

Anywhere from two to six women per day come to the eatery hoping to get things moving along (if you know what we mean). As a gesture of gratitude for the restaurant assisting in bringing their bundle of joy into the world, pregnant customers will sign the restaurant’s “baby book.” Scalini’s also returns the favor with a small token of appreciation, such a $25 gift card or a Scalini’s infant T-shirt, if the expecting mother goes into labor within 48 hours of departing.

But don’t just take our word for it. Read what mothers have said on Scalini’s "Eggplant Babies" page, where they’ve posted their results and some ridiculously cute baby pictures that will make you say, “Ciao, Bella.”

If you’re past your due date and can’t travel under the doctor’s orders to the Atlanta area, don’t fret. Although Bogino said that women have sent friends and family members across state lines to pick up the legendary entree, even driving all the way from Texas, the owners have made things simpler for moms-to-be by posting the original recipe online.

After trying everything, from walking seven miles to drinking castor oil, one mom said nothing worked until she tried this recipe. Her son, Kayson Amore, was born 36 hours after eating it.

Kathy D. wrote: “I made the eggplant parmigiana on my due date, thinking I would have it for lunch the next day. I had a tiny piece before going to bed...and woke up four hours later when my water broke. As an added bonus, I had a great dish ready in the fridge to serve our out-of-town family the next day!”

Of course, the dish isn’t one size fits all. Other women have reported that it didn’t work for them, but, nonetheless, they still enjoyed eating every bite. Take for example expectant mom Riel Green, an Atlanta-area entrepreneur, who dined at Scalini’s on Sunday, August 6.

"It didn't work for me, but it has for a few people I know," she told TODAY Food. "It was still a very yummy dish!"

You may be wondering what makes this dish different from your family’s tried-and-true eggplant parm recipe. We’re not sure exactly, but Bogino’s dad cooked the dish for his mom back in 1977, and 24 hours later, Bogino made his grand debut. Once people in the Atlanta area caught wind of the story, Bogino’s dad decided to put it on the menu when he opened the restaurant in 1980.

But you’ll be surprised to learn that the dish isn’t exclusive to pregnant women.

"People even have their pets try it—there are dogs and bunnies on the wall," Bogino said.

WATCH: What's for Supper? Make-Ahead Italian Casseroles

Some foods really do have extraordinary healing powers, and in the case of Scalini’s, theirs is ushering the gift of life into the world—one forkful, smothered in tomato sauce, at a time.