Caioti’s Pizza Cafe draws in dozens of women each day hoping to kickstart their labor by eating “The Salad”
When you’re past your due date, you’re willing to try almost anything to get that baby to come out. Women consume everything from castor oil to pineapple in hopes that it will get their labor going. Patrons of Caioti’s Pizza Cafe in Studio City, California reach for the lettuce. They swear the secret to kickstarting labor is a dish known simply as “The Salad.”
Owner Carrie Ladou told Buzzfeed Bring Me The Salad has been helping pregnant ladies go into labor for a while. “28 years ago a pregnant lady came in and ate the salad and started having contractions.” That was enough to spark an urban legend with some serious staying power. “We have anywhere from five to twenty pregnant ladies a day come in and order The Salad. We have lots of tired looking men come in and get it to go.”
The cafe doesn’t make any official claims that The Salad will cause your contractions to hurry up and get here, but the proof speaks for itself. There’s a plaque on the wall filled with the names of babies who made their debut right after their moms noshed on a salad. In fact, Carson Daly’s wife, Siri Pinter, tried the salad in order to induce her labor. She gave birth to daughter Etta Jones just two days later.
Moms-to-be who come for The Salad get the chance to sign a special guest book. There they leave messages cheering each other on or just telling their belly occupants to hurry up and “GET OUT!”
The ingredients are surprisingly simple. It’s a heaping plate of romaine lettuce, watercress, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. People speculate it’s the balsamic basil vinaigrette dressing that’s the secret behind getting contractions in gear. In fact, some pregnant moms who are desperate for delivery even drink straight shots of the dressing.
Unfortunately for those of us who don’t live in California, the exact recipe for the salad dressing is top secret. While the eatery will tell you that the vinaigrette is a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and other herbs and seasonings, the staff has to sign confidentiality agreements promising to keep the precise recipe a secret.
Caioti’s does sell its balsamic basil dressing bottled and ready to go. They even have a website dedicated to online sales, though it appears to be offline at the moment. (A quick hunt of Amazon and eBay left us empty-handed too.) But if you have a friend in the Studio City area who’d be willing to send a care package, or better yet, if you’re looking for a place to head to for a babymoon, go stock up.
Did we mention they also have pizza?
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