While it is a blessing to be part of a country that has an abundance of cultures and cuisines, it can also be a tad pestering. For instance, confusion regarding the origin of the popular Indian sweet, rosogolla (a.k.a. rasgulla), which apparently has connections in Odisha as well. Wait, what?
We’re unsure about what’s the bigger blow – that Odisha claimed the rosogulla or that there exists legit issues revolving around a food’s state of origin. As it turns out, the two neighbouring states have been in a long tussle to claim the sweet as their own. It all started when Odisha’s science and technology minister, Pradip Kumar Panigrahi, set up several committees in 2015 to trace the origin of the delicacy.
West Bengal asserted ownership citing historical and traditional evidences. In its application, the Bengal government affirmed, “Rosogolla was first seen in the form of ‘Delta Rosogolla’ or ‘Danadar’, which was modified into today’s soft, sponge “Rosogolla“. The first Rosogolla, which was in the above form, was first seen in Fulia, Nadia district which came to Bagbajar (in Kolkata) during 1860.”
Odisha too presented religious sentiments linked to the rasgulla, which apparently has been associated with the puja of Lord Jagannath.
However, after much debate that went on for almost two years, it is now official that the sweet belongs to West Bengal and not Odisha, according to the Geographical Indication (GI). Chief Minister of the state, Mamta Banerjee, took to Twitter to express her pride and glee.
Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI ( Geographical Indication) status for Rosogolla
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 14, 2017
Meanwhile, a number of Bengali came out to cheer the GI’s decision. “It was not merely a battle over Rosogolla, but a battle of pride and identity for Bengalis”, the state’s food processing minister, Abdur Rezzak Mollah, told India Today.
Shortly after the GI’s declaration, the West Bengal government successfully registered “Banglar Rosogolla” with the Geographical Indications registry of India.
For the uninitiated, the GI is a name or sign used on certain products, which belong to a particular geographical location (e.g. a town, region, or country). These products can be agricultural, manufactured foods and drinks, handicrafts, or spices. For example, Darjeeling Tea is a registered GI that also belongs to West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh has Banganapalle Mangoes registered to its name, and so on.