Odisha was on Monday given the Geographical Indication tag for its version of the rasagola, the GI Registry Chennai said. This came after authorities had ruled that the sweet originated in West Bengal in 2017.
Odisha and West Bengal have staked claim to the GI registration of rasagola and have fought over it since 2015. Odisha had said it should be given the tag as the Jagannath Temple in Puri used the sweet as “prasad” during the Rath Yatra. West Bengal said the sweet was invented in 1868 by confectioner Nobin Chandra Das, whose son later founded the famous confectionery chain KC Das.
A certificate from the Geographical Indication Registry, Government of India, said that the GI tag for “Odisha Rasagola” has been registered in the name of The Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited and Utkala Mistanna Byabasayee Samiti (Utkala Sweetmakers Business Body).
In February 2018, the Odisha government had filed for geographical recognition of their variant of the sweet with the Geographical Indications Registry office in Chennai. The state government was under pressure to file for recognition of their sweet after West Bengal got the GI tag. After opinions from jurists and patent experts, including Chennai-based attorney P Sanjay Gandhi, the application was filed.
“It is a proud moment for everyone involved in the exercise,” Gandhi told The Times Of India after the announcement.
“Rasagola is a unique product, which is being produced/manufactured within the geographical territory of Odisha,” the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Ltd had said in its submission before the GI registrar. “It has unique properties of being very soft to feel, juicy, easy to melt-in mouth and non-chewy.”
The tag falls under Class 30 of GI tagged products that includes other items such as coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee, flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices, honey, treacle, yeast, baking powder, salt, mustard, vinegar, sauces etc.
The turmeric powder, also known as Kandhamal Haldi, was the first product to receive a GI tag in Odisha.