West Bengal beats Odisha in battle over origin of rasgulla, gets GI status

Nov 14, 2017, 16:21 IST | PTI

A bitter tug-of-war over a popular sweet has been resolved, with West Bengal beating Odisha in the battle over the origins of the rasgulla 

A bitter tug-of-war over a popular sweet has been resolved, with West Bengal beating Odisha in the battle over the origins of the rasgullah. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that her state had been granted GI or the Geographical Indication status for the sweet.

Not sweet nothing: Bengal gets GI status for rasagullah
West Bengal and neighbouring Odisha have been engaged in a legal battle over the origin of the cottage cheese-based sweet since June 2015

"Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI... status for Rosogolla," Banerjee, currently in London, tweeted.

West Bengal and neighbouring Odisha have been engaged in a legal battle over the origin of the cottage cheese-based sweet since June 2015. The GI under the World Trade Organization is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place.

The GI under the World Trade Organization is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place. State Food Processing Industries and Horticulture Minister Abdur Razzak Molla said the GI status would boost the state's sweet industry. "We (West Bengal) were granted the GI status yesterday. We are expecting the hard copy of the letter by tomorrow," Molla told PTI when contacted.

He added that the rosogolla has been a traditional sweet of the eastern region for decades. "It was a traditional sweet of this region way back when
Bengal, Bihar and Odisha were together. So we can say that the rosogolla is very close to the people's hearts even now, years after the three states were created," he said. The minister believed the recognition would boost West Bengal's sweet makers, who hailed the announcement by the GI
Registry.

"It is a historic win for Bengal as everyone knows the state is the creator of the rosogolla," an executive committee member of sweetshop owners 'Paschim Banga Mistanna Byabasayee Samity', Amitabha Dey, said. His sweetshop 'Felu Modak', which usually sells seven or eight types of rosogollas, was likely to see a rise in its sales today, he said. The GI status was welcomed by Pompy Mallick, one of the owners of the 'Balaram Mallick Radharaman Mallick' sweetshop, who said the GI status was "happy news".

"Everybody knows rosogollas originated in Bengal and we are all retaining the tradition. Now that we have got the GI tag, it has been ratified formally," she said. The owner of the 'K C Das' chain, Dhiman Das, claimed that the sweet was its creation. "Our thanks to GI officials. We have been in this
business for years and the rosogolla is our creation. This is a win for the people of Bengal," he said. Das is a descendant of Nobin Chandra, who, many in Bengal believe, created the sweet.

Author Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay said "rosogolla-loving Bengalis" and the sweetmeat makers would be happy to hear the news. West Bengal and Odisha have been embroiled in a tug-of-war over the sweet since 2015, when Odisha filed an application to claim a GI tag over it. Odisha has said the sweet has been a part of the state's centuries-old rituals of offering prayers to Lord Jagannath and was mentioned in a 16th-century Odiya epic.

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