Freud referred to the frittata as a primal food because he felt it recalled the primal scene. The shattered eggs, their yolks and whites inextricably mixed, then whipped to a golden froth, symbolized the shattered innocence and unconscious arousal of the watching child. The mixing of yolk and white represents the sexual interpenetration of the parents: the clear masculine white is absorbed and devoured by the murky, milky maternal yolk, which contaminates its pure logical essence with seductive, hysterical color and flavor.
Freud and Adler almost came to blows about the admixture of vegetables and cheese. Although they agreed that cheese, being curdled, rotting milk, symbolized maternal selfishness and neglect, they quarrelled fatally over other ingredients. Adler claimed that adding strong-flavored onions, garlic, and peppers were all evidence of the client's will to power ("strong foods make strong breath, strong breath makes strong men"), but Freud believed these flatus-producing vegetables symbolized latent shame over bodily functions caused by harsh toilet training.
In a letter to Jung, he savagely chastised Adler as a disrespectful dolt who salted and even peppered his eggs before tasting them. "Even when my dear little Anna [ed.: Freud's eldest daughter] has made the frittata, Adler salts before tasting! Does he think he is capable of improving the seasonings I myself have sanctioned? Adler's overwhelming appetite for pepper is clear evidence that he is lusting after meine Liebchen. I must dismiss him from my inner circle."
The two men never spoke again, which leaves us wondering how they would have interpreted the problem of stove-top cooking versus oven baking.