Just as man is said to be made up of the three gunas or quality which are reflected in his appearance and his appetites, food too is divided into three kinds.
Satvic food is light, bland, usually vegetarian and white and gold in colour. The finest rice mixed with ghee(clarified butter), milk and the milk products, honey and fruits- fresh and sun-dried – are the foods for ascetics.
Rajasic food is gold and red in colour, consists of meat, fish, eggs, wines and beer and are supposed to arouse passion in kings and warriors.
Tasmasic food is red and black in colour, consists of flesh of small animals, pork and beef, scaleless fish and food cooked the day before.
The Brahmins at the apex of the socio-religious order are largely vegetarian and eat satvic foods. But the Bengali Brahmin found the flavour of Bengal’s sweet water fish irresistible and fell to temptation and called the fish as ‘fruit of the ocean’.