The tug of war between West Bengal and Odisha over rasogolla has reached a new height with the neighbouring state’s celebration of ‘Rasagola Dibas’ and its claim that the syrupy, spongy sweet originated in Odisha.
On Sunday, Odisha celebrated the event for the second year in succession on the occasion of Niladri Bije when Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra enter the Jagannath temple after their nine-day long annual Rath Yatra to their aunt’s house.
People took to social media to celebrate ‘Rasagola Dibasa’ and noted sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a sand art at Puri beach on the occasion.
“This is ridiculous. Rasogolla is unique to Bengal, and Pahala Rasgulla, which Odisha claims to be its speciality, is not the same thing. Historical researchers have shown that rasogolla originated in Bengal,” Dhiman Das of KC Das and Co said. His ancestor, Nobin Chandra Das, is widely regarded as the man who invented rasogolla.
The Patent Information Centre of West Bengal government’s department of science and technology applied for Geographical Indication (GI) status for Banglar Rasogolla on September 18, 2015. Since then, there have been several rounds of communications between the central government’s Geographical Indications Registry and the state’s Patent Information Centre.
In its application for GI status, the state government has described the uniqueness of Banglar Rasogolla as “a syrupy dessert/sweet popular in all over West Bengal as well as India and abroad”. It is made with dumplings of chhana (Indian cottage cheese) dough, cooked in a light syrup made of sugar. The size of rasogolla varies from 3’7-6’2 cm approx. The spongy characteristic is the unique speciality for Banglar Rasogolla, it said.
While Odisha is yet to apply for the GI status, the recent report by a committee set up by the state government’s department of science and technology said that it has found a new evidence to prove that the sweet originated in the state.
Odisha science and technology minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi recently said the state would apply for rasogolla’s GI status soon. Odisha claims rasogolla was invented there more than 500 years ago.
“There is unnecessary hype over Odisha’s claim on rasogolla. We are the only state to apply for its GI status and Odisha has not even applied for it. We have submitted with the concerned agency every document necessary,” Mohua Homchoudhury of Bengal’s Patent Information Centre told Hindustan Times.
The department claimed that more than 1,00,000 sweet makers of different categories across the state are engaged in making rasogolla.