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Acting belatedly on its claim of being the origin of Rasagola, which is a round-shaped sweet made from cottage cheese, Odisha government on Wednesday decided to file an application for registration of its own brand of Rasagola with the GI (geographical indication) registry. This follows grant of GI tag to the West Bengal produced Rasogolla by the authorities on Tuesday.
Both the neighbouring states have been locked in a bitter fight over their claims of being the originator of the particular dessert. Both variants are, however, different in colour, texture, taste, juice content and method of manufacturing. Odisha's 'Rasagola' is softer and light-brown in colour. while the Bengal variant- Rasogolla- is white and creamy in colour.
The decision to file an GI application for Odisha product was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan.
"Banglar Rasogolla has been registered with GI on an application filed by Government of West Bengal. This only provides GI Tag to the Banglar Rasogolla specific to the West Bengal", clarified an official statement.
The registration of GI for Bengal's Rasogolla in no way affects the claim for GI registration of Odisha's Rasagola.
GI tag is an intellectual property identifier for a product. GI is a name or sign used on certain products, which corresponds to a specific geographical location or the origin like a town, a region or a country and possesses qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.
The state government has pointed out that similar products and goods have separate geographical indication due to their geographical origin, distinctness and uniqueness. Laddu, for instance, has several variants such as the Tirupathi Laddu and the Bandar Laddu. With regard to mango, there is separate GI tags for Laxman Bhog mango and Banaganapalle mango, among others.
"There are historical mentions of Rasagola's association with traditions and practices associated with Lord Jagannath. Rasagola has been traditionally offered as bhog (offering) to Goddess Lakshmi at the Jagannath Temple, Puri and this ritual is known as Bachanika, which is a part of the "Niladri Bije" observance that marks the return of the deities to the temple after the Ratha Yatra Festival. This practice has existed for centuries", said LN Gupta, additional chief secretary, MSME department.