Rosogolla battle ends on a sweet note for West Bengal

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The Odisha government on Tuesday said it would continue its battle to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for "rasagola" even though West Bengal obtained the GI tag for the origin of the iconic sweet, called "rosogolla" in that state.

"The GI authorities have ruled today that West Bengal is the origin of rosogulla", Sanjay Bhattacharya, deputy controller of patents and designs in Kolkata, told the Hindustan Times. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is now in London was thrilled with the news.

When we talk about candies, nothing can beat the spongy, syrupy Rosogolla. She wrote that they are happy and proud that Bengal has finally granted the Geographical Indication status for rosogolla.

India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods in 2003. Virtually every dignitary visiting West Bengal - from Fidel Castro to Diego Maradona - was offered this signature sweet during state dinners.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.

West Bengal in its application had provided proof of origin - historical records dating back to 1896.

In 2015, its science and technology minister Pradip Kumar announced the setting up of a committee that would trace the "actual" origin of the sweet.

Food processing Minister of the state, Abdur Rezzak Mollah talking to media said, "Happy and relieved".

While Odisha claims the mouth-watering delicacy originated in the state 600 years ago and was first served at the 12th-century Lord Jagannath temple in Puri, the Bengal government contends that Rasogolla was invented by Nabin Chandra Das in 1868. For a product to get GI tag, it has to have a unique quality, reputation or characteristic which is attributable to its geographic origin.

The confectioners of Odisha also organised an exhibition to make people aware about the state's claim over rosogolla. However the strongest contender remains the Mishti Doi (sweet curd) of West Bengal.

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