Odisha Rasgulla gets it's own GI tag

The bitter war over the rasgulla appears to have ended in a draw—the geographical indicator was granted to Odisha for the ‘Odisha rasgulla’, more than two years after West Bengal won its own GI tag for the sweet. The Chennai-based GI Registry issued a formal certification for the ‘Odisha rasgulla’. “This mouthwatering culinary delight made of cottage cheese, loved by Odias across the world, is offered to Lord Jagannath as part of bhog since centuries,” Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted. A GI is a distinctive sign/ name used on a product, generally collectively owned, which can be used to differentiate goods on the basis of its unique characteristics and geographical origin. A GI tag helps in the branding and marketing of a local product and can attract penalties if copied by anybody outside the region.When West Bengal received its GI tag for its variety of rasgulla in November 2017, many people wrongly believed that the GI Registry has recognized that the sweet originated in West Bengal. A bitter fight ensued between the two states over the delicacy. The GI tag for the same product to both the neighbouring states now recognizes two distinct varieties in taste and texture. In its submission before the GI registrar, the Odisha Small Industries Corp Ltd, which has been awarded the GI tag, said: “Odisha rasgulla is very soft to feel, juicy and non-chewy in consistency, and can be swallowed without teeth pressure. The rasgulla prepared in other places is circular in shape, milk white in colour and basically spongy and chewy in consistency.” While Bengal’s claim the sweet was invented by Nobin Chandra Das (Birth: 1845) at his Bagbazar residence in Kolkata, Odias cite the tradition dating back to the 12th century. During the festival of “Niladri Bije”, Lord Jagannath offers rasgulla to his disgruntled consort Goddess Laxmi on his return from a 9-day-long Rath Yatra. That day is now marked by Odias as Rasgulla Dibasa every year.

No comments: