The Geographical Indication (GI) Registry has accorded the GI tag for Odisha Rasagola, a year after the state applied for it.
Rasagola has been a bone of contention between Odisha and West Bengal over its origin. The Registrar of Geographical Indication, Chennai has registered the sweet as 'Odisha Rasagola'.
The Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited (OSIC) and Utkal Mistanna Byabasayee Samiti are the registered proprietors of the GI tag who jointly filed for it in 2018.
This makes Odisha Rasagola the latest entrant in the list of GIs of India under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registrations and Protections) Act, 1999.
"GI tag for Odisha Rasagola will help raise awareness about Rasagola’s centuries-old cultural link with the last day of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra. We hope the tag will create demand in national & international market. We are happy that now GI tag will help in enhancing information & awareness level apart from trade prospects. We started celebrating Rasagola Dibasa on July 30, 2015, which was the “Niladri Bije” of the Nabakalebara Ratha Jatra," said Anita Sabat, a researcher who helped OSIC with the documentation for getting the GI tag.
With Odisha Rasagola as the latest addition, the state now has 16 GI tags. The state had been claiming the sugary delicacy originated years ago, and it was first served at the 12th-century shrine of Lord Jagannath's temple in Puri, while West Bengal only traces it back to 150 years.
Odisha Chief minister Naveen Patnaik also expressed his happiness on the recognition to the Rasagola.
"Happy to share that Odisha Rasagola has received GI tag in Geographical Indication Registry. This mouth watering culinary delight made of cottage cheese, loved by Odias across the world, is offered to Lord Jagannath as part of bhog (offerings) since centuries," Patnaik tweeted.
LN Gupta, additional chief secretary, MSME department said, "Our systematic efforts have now yielded the sweet results."
West Bengal had received its GI tag for its variety of Rasgulla in November 2017.