India gives 'king of sweets' a geographical tag to end bitter rivalry

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KC Das the brand which gave India its first rosogolla is happy holding on to its roots as it completes 75 years

The Chennai-based GI registration office awarded the GI tag to Bengal thus putting to rest the almost two-year debate between neighbouring states West Bengal and Odisha regarding the place of origin of this sweet sphere.

In a unconventional development, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday awarded Sweet Geographical Status (GI) status for Rosogolla.

The battle between West Bengal and Odisha over the origin of Rosogolla ended on a sweet note for West Bengal with the State winning the Geographical Indication (GI) for this iconic sweet.

Odisha sought GI status for the exquisite "Pahala Rasagola" located on the National Highway No. 5 between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The Odisha government set up three committees to look into the evidence regarding the origin of rosogolla in Odisha.

But two eastern states, West Bengal and Odisha, have been arguing over the origins of rosogolla, which means a ball of sweet. He was trying to come up with a new sweet for a number of years before he came up with it. Late on, West Bengal government made a decision to take a stand on rosogolla origin and claim legally to provide the evidence of rosogolla dessert.

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Countering Odisha's claim, the Bengal government applied for GI tag for the sweet, asserting there was "ample" documentary evidence to prove the sweet belongs to Bengal. Now with this Geographical Indication now rosogolla belongs to Bengal, not Odisha. Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Food Processing Minister stated "Earlier we had fought a similar battle with other states over the GI of Joynogorer Mowa".

So Bengalis were quite surprised, if not hurt, in 2015 when the neighbouring state of Odisha suddenly claimed that the sweet was essentially an invention of that state.

It is this kind of Rasagolla that has received the GI tag.

Which products can get GI tag?

"The government took all related documents and information from us to authenticate the claim that Nabin Chandra Das was indeed the inventor of rosogolla", said Dhiman Das, director of K C Das Pvt Ltd and a great great grandson of Nabin Chandra Das.

Bengal broke out into celebration mode with news of Rosogolla having made it to the GI.

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