Dreams of food and eating constitute typical dreams. This conclusion is based on the analysis, of 229 food and eating dreams of 4 female patients which revealed a similarity of manifest content and a similarity of latent meanings.
In the first three studied cases where there were adequate numbers of dreams to study statistically, it was discovered that the incidence of this typical dream tended to decrease as the analyses progressed. The possible meanings of this decrease were discussed.
The most prominent latent meanings of this typical dream are: (a) as a regressive substitute gratification (oral) for genital satisfaction, and (b) as a symbol of pregenital fixations on maternal love, support, and reward.
The latent symbolic meaning of foods in dreams is a rich and diverse source of psychodynamic material. It may well have a bearing on our understanding of certain hysterical conversion symptoms, food preferences, idiosyncrasies, and allergies, and certain psychosomatic disturbances which involve appetite and upper gastrointestinal functioning.
The suggestion is offered that the serial study of repetitive dreams throughout the course of analysis may be a useful methodological approach to research in various aspects of psychoanalysis. Such an approach may be able to encompass simple quantitative relationships and correlations.