Odisha rasagola gets GI tag

A year after West Bengal walked away with geographical indication (GI) tag recognition for rasgulla, the Odisha government reopened the battle for ownership of the delicacy and won the rights over ‘Odisha rasagola’.


 Now the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited (OSIC) will be the registered holder of Odisha Rasagola’s GI tag , and it will enjoy all legal and intellectual protection available for the product, whose uniqueness to Odisha, its proof or origin and antiquity tied to boundaries of Odisha have all been accepted by the Government of India’s GI registry, which issued the certification in its latest journal. 


OSIC has named all the 30 districts in Odisha as geographical areas entitled to use the GI tag and said Odisha Rasagola is associated with the world-renowned Puri Jagannath Temple. As per the rituals of Niladri Bije, the rasagola bhoga is traditionally offered to Devi Lakshmi on behalf of Shree Jagannath. As per the Record of Rights, this is the duty of Bhitarachha Sebaka, it said. 


“Odisha rasagola is a sweet from the state of Odisha, made with chhena cooked in sugar syrup, which is very soft to feel, juicy and non-chewy in consistency and can be swallowed without teeth pressure. Colour development of Odisha rasagola is very specific, where without addition of external colour, various intensity-coloured rasagolas are prepared using the principle of caramalisation of sugar with specific methods of preparation. Generally, the Odisha rasagola is white in colour with round shape (non- spherical) but off white rasagolas in various shades are prepared by cooking rasagola at 110 degrees C for about 40 minutes in which caramalisation of sugar takes place giving the off white colour, said the report. 


Moments after West Bengal chief minister announced the GI tag for rasgulla in 2017, a social and political outcry was triggered in Odisha, which had a rich legacy of rasagola. Following opinions from jurists and patent experts, including Chennai-based attorney P Sanjay Gandhi, the present application was filed, culminating into an Odisha Rasagola now. It is a proud moment for everyone involved in the exercise, Sanjay Gandhi told TOI. 


As for Odisha rasagola’s uniqueness, the report said the sweet is famous for its distinct quality, features and characteristics. The impact of evolutionary process and technology infusion over hundreds of years has led to developing a unique rasagola called Odisha rasagola, which has been influenced by its geography and cultural anthropogeny to a great extent in developing this unique product, it said.