It is celebration time for Odisha. Yes! The eastern Indian state has just tasted a sweet victory, receiving the much-awaited Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its version of Rasgulla. Odisha has been embroiled in a tug-of-war with West Bengal over the origins of Rosogolla since 2015. While West Bengal bagged the desired GI tag for the mouth-watering sweet dumpling back in November 2017, the redemption time came for Odisha today.
Taking to its official website the Chennai based GI Registry has issued a formal statement on Monday, announcing the coveted tag for "Odisha Rasagola".
In its submission before the GI registrar, the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Ltd, which has been awarded the tag, said, "Odisha Rasagola is very soft to feel, juicy and non-chewy in consistency and can be swallowed without teeth pressure".
"The rasogolla/rasgulla prepared in other places is circular in shape, milk white in colour and basically spongy and chewy in consistency,"
Earlier it was belived that the GI under the World Trade Organisation is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place and, therefore, West Bengal has been considered as the creator of the iconic sweetmeat so far. Now the GI tag for the same product to both the neighbouring states recognises the two distinct varieties of Rasgullas in taste and texture.
While Bengalis argue that 'Rasogolla' was invented by Nobin Chandra Das at his Bagbazar residence in Kolkata, Odias claim that the sweet dish 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.
Though there are no strong evidence available to prove its origin, an Odia culture scholar Asit Mohanty has recently come out with a few lesser known facts about it.
Mohanty claims that he has found the word "Rasagola" in the 15th Century Odia Dandi Ramayan written by the famous mediaeval age poet Balaram Das. He also quoted several other Odia and Sanskrit texts in support of their claim that - Rasgulla is an origin of Odisha.