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Posted at: Nov 15, 2017, 2:01 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2017, 10:56 AM (IST)

Sweet win for Bengal in Odisha ‘rosogolla’ fight

Sweet win for Bengal in Odisha ‘rosogolla’ fight

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 14

The bitter fight between West Bengal and Odisha over the geographical origin of “rosogolla” (pronounced as “rasgulla” in northern states) has ended on a sweet note for the former.

While the GI (geographical indication) tag allotted to Bengal today by the Chennai-based intellectual property office has raised some eyebrows (since it is difficult to pinpoint the geographical origin of a cuisine in a multicultural country like India), the spongy sweet undoubtedly enjoys a unique place in the Bengali culture.

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The GI tag provides an assurance of quality and uniqueness,  attributable to the place of its origin.

Nobin Chandra Das, the enterprising founder of the confectionary chain KC Das, is credited with developing the sweet in the 19th century.

“There was in him an intense desire to create a sweetmeat that was never there before... the ultimate delicacy. He toiled for months, and sometime in 1868, his labour paid off. He made small balls of casein (cottage cheese) and boiled them in hot sugar syrup. The result was a succulent, spongy sweet with a unique taste. Nobin Das christened it ‘rosogolla’ and a legend was born,” says a booklet published recently by KC Das.

His great-grandson Dhiman Das, the executive director of KC Das Pvt Ltd, said they were feeling relieved. “We provided evidence to back the claim that ‘rosogolla’ originated in Bengal. We are also thankful to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for taking the initiative of applying for GI registration,” Das said.

Odisha had set up a panel under an eminent scholar to research the subject. The report submitted by the panel had said ‘rosogolla’ had been offered to the deity at Puri’s famous Jagannath Temple since 13th century.

Mamata Banerjee, who is in London, posted on her Facebook page a picture of an earthen pot full of “rosogollas” with the caption: “Today must be dedicated to eating rosogollas”.


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