West Bengal has tasted sweet victory, winning a bitter battle with neighbouring Odisha over the origins of the rosogolla. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her state had been granted a GI or Geographical Indication status for the popular sweet. "Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI... status for Rosogolla," Banerjee, currently in London, tweeted. West Bengal and Odisha have been engaged in a battle over the origin of the spongy balls since 2015, with Odisha claimed the sweet as its own. The GI under the World Trade Organization is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a particular place. State Food Processing Industries and Horticulture Minister Abdur Razzak Molla said the GI status would boost the state's sweet industry. "We (West Bengal) were granted the GI status yesterday. We are expecting the hard copy of the letter by tomorrow," Molla told PTI when contacted. He added that the rosogolla has been a traditional sweet of the eastern region for decades. "It was a traditional sweet of this region way back when Bengal, Bihar and Odisha were together.
So we can say that the rosogolla is very close to the people's hearts even now, years after the three states were created," he said. The minister believed the recognition would boost West Bengal's sweet makers, who hailed the announcement by the GI Registry. "It is a historic win for Bengal as everyone knows the state is the creator of the rosogolla," an executive committee member of sweetshop owners 'Paschim Banga Mistanna Byabasayee Samity', Amitabha Dey, said. His sweetshop 'Felu Modak', which usually sells seven or eight types of rosogollas, was likely to see a rise in its sales today, he said. The GI status was welcomed by Pompy Mallick, one of the owners of the 'Balaram Mallick Radharaman Mallick' sweetshop, who said the GI status was "happy news". "Everybody knows rosogollas originated in Bengal and we are all retaining the tradition. Now that we have got the GI tag, it has been ratified formally," she said. The owner of the 'K C Das' chain, Dhiman Das, claimed that the sweet was its creation. "Our thanks to GI officials. We have been in this business for years and the rosogolla is our creation. This is a win for the people of Bengal," he said. Das is a descendant of Nobin Chandra, who, many in Bengal believe, created the sweet. Author Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay said "rosogolla-loving Bengalis" and the sweetmeat makers would be happy to hear the news. West Bengal and Odisha have been embroiled in a tug-of- war over the sweet since 2015, when Odisha filed an application to claim a GI tag over it. Odisha has said the sweet has been a part of the state's centuries-old rituals of offering prayers to Lord Jagannath and was mentioned in a 16th-century Odiya epic.
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