Priyanka Dutta, Kolkata: ‘Roshogolla’, how can I describe this particular sweets to you? Well, Rôshogolla defines a Bengali character as well as Bengali talent. Bengalis are supposed to possess sweet voices and they sing well – yes, you guessed it right – probably because of Rôshogolla!
Evidence indeed suggests that most of the great singers and composers in the Indian music industry specially the Hindi film industry are all Bengalis starting from the legendary Kishore Kumar, RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Manna De to today’s singers like Kumar Shaanu, Abhijit, Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, Monali Thakur and many others.
The Bengali language is very soft and flexible, again you guessed it right – because of Rôshogolla! Half a million Bengali girls have nicknames like Mishti, Mithi, Mithu etc and all these are Bengali terms meaning Sweets or Sweetness.
In-fact Bengalis are supposed to possess round faces, that too because of our association with Rôshogolla and not the Mongoloid connection. When Bengalis want to establish a relationship of trust and intimacy with anybody, food is the ingredient. And Roshogolla performs the perfect catalyst.
A bitter-war has broken out over the origins of this white dripping-with-sweetness-ball of cottage-cheese. The fight is between Odisha and West Bengal, with each one claiming ownership of rasagolla. Odisha has claimed that Rasogolla originated from the Jagannath Temple in Puri, where it is a part of the religious rituals, and has been a part of the same since the 12th century.
Amid controversy over the origins of the iconic sweet, rasagolla (known better as rasgulla elsewhere), the West Bengal government has set off the official process of staking its claim, by filing application for the Geographical Indication (GI) for the syrupy sweet. And on Tuesday Bengali wins over the battle, gets the registration from GI.
The city’s Das family, whose ancestor Nobin Chandra is said to have invented rasagolla as we know them now, have rallied to stave off the ‘threat.’
“Yes we have initiated the documentation process prior to submitting our application” Minister for Science and Technology Robi Ranjan Chatterjee told. Dhiman Das, great greatgrandson of Nobin Chandra and an executive director of K.C. Das Pvt Ltd said “we are hopeful of getting the tag as there is full documentary evidence of its origins in this state.”
GI authentication is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country) which may act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.
When question, the minister replied “Our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked us to do the needful for ensuring that Bengal gets its rightful place as inventor of Rasogolla. Since Nabin Chandra Das had introduced the sweet in 1868, it is high time we don’t allow others to hijack our heritage.”
After the declaration on Tuesday, Bengalis start to celebrate. ‘ We are very happy. Its our sweets. We cant live rather think without ‘Roshogolla’. It was our sweets and will be.’ Mishti Mukherjee, Food lover Bengali.
As things start, there was a long and bitter battle ahead as the Odisha government pursues the move to get GI status for Rasagolla. Claims and counter-claims has made by both the contending parties. Finally, the best part of the Bengali meal is officially is in the plate of Bengalis. Let’s enjoy.