Bengal’s sweet is rosogolla, says Odisha as it pursues GI status for Odia rasagola

Odisha is in the process of obtaining the GI for Odishara Rasagola, which dates back to more than 800 years, officials say.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2017 07:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A boy eats a rosogolla at a sweet shop in Kolkata. West Bengal has won a legal battle against Odisha over the origins of the rosogolla.(PTI Photo)

On a day the West Bengal government celebrated GI status for rosogolla, the Odisha government did not contest the claim but asserted it was in the process of getting the same validation for the original Odia avatar of the sweet — rasagola.

On Tuesday, the Geographical Indications (GI) registry announced that the rosogolla originated in Bengal, and not in Odisha.

“It has come to our notice that Banglar Rosogolla has been registered with GI on an application filed by the government of West Bengal. This only provides GI tag to the Banglar Rosogolla specific to West Bengal,” said LN Gupta, additional chief secretary of Odisha’s micro, small and medium enterprises department. “Odisha is in the process of obtaining the GI for Odishara Rasagola, which dates back to more than 800 years,” added Gupta.

His department has been entrusted with the task of moving the GI registry for validation. The state is yet to apply for the GI status. Gupta said Odisha was building a foolproof pitch.

In September 2015, Odisha decided to stake claim for the GI registration for rasagola and formed three committees for suggestions on the process of the application. Rasagola was the first food item for which Odisha would seek GI status, and officials said such a thorough approach was necessary.

One of the committees, in its report, cited several references to the sweet in Dandi Ramayana, a version of the epic adapted by Balaram Das in the 16th century. The report said the sweet was offered to deities in mutts and temples for over 600 years.

Odisha claims rasagola has been served in the Lord Jagannath temple since the 12th century, much before Bengal knew about it.

The Chennai-based GI registry’s officials said Odisha could lay claim to rasagola’s origins with proper documentation. “We have not received any application or documents from the Odisha government. It can always apply for claiming the origin of the sweet in Odisha,” said Prasant Kumar of the GI registry.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 07:42 IST