Bhubaneswar: Amidst a tussle with West Bengal over the origin of the sweetmeat ‘Rasagola’, the Odisha government has decided to constitute a committee to finalize the process to apply for the Geographical Indications (GI) status for Rasagola, claiming its origin in the state.
The committee proposed to be headed by Director (Industries) of MSME department would take steps for applying for GI tag for Rasagula for Odisha.
It would collect information regarding the list of Rasagola producers of Odisha, specifications and ingredients of the syrupy, geographical area of production and different types of Rasagola available in the state.
Besides, it would prepare a report on the method of preparation with the pictorial flow chart of Rasagola preparation, the uniqueness of Rasagola in Odisha and socio-economic profile.
The Odisha government took the decision forming the committee after eminent Jagannath cult scholar Asit Mohanty submitted a report claiming that the sweetmeat originated from Odisha.
In the 100-page report to the state government, he pointed to the sweet’s reference in Dandi Ramayana, a version of the epic adapted by Balaram Das in the 16th century.
The report also claimed that the sweet was being offered to gods in mutts and temples for over 600 years.
It refuted Bengal’s claim that rasgulla had reached Odisha under the influence of Shri Chaitanya. The neighboring state had also claimed that chhena (cottage cheese), from which rasgulla is made, was invented in Bengal.
Meanwhile, West Bengal has clarified that they are not seeking claim over the dessert but only over ‘Rasogolla’, a particular variety prepared in the state.
They have sought GI tag only for ‘Rasogolla’. The West Bengal government claimed that their product is different from Odisha both in color, texture, taste, juice content and method of manufacturing.