The mention of Rosogolla brings to mind the image of small round balls of sweet dipped in a sugary syrup. The sweet, that is relished across the country, had for long been entangled in a legal battle between West Bengal and Odisha, both claiming that the sweet originated in their state. The debate finally ended a few days ago, with West Bengal getting the Geographical Indication (GI) for “Banglar Rasogolla”. And to celebrate this victory, two self-help groups in Nadia district have collaborated to produce a gigantic version of the round syrupy dessert, which they claim to be the world’s biggest!
The giant Rosogolla reportedly weighs nine kilograms with the syrup and over six kilograms without it. It required five professional sweet makers, helpers and raw materials of equally elaborate proportion to get completed. According to IANS, the makers needed 150 kg of sugar, five-and-a-half kg of cottage cheese and 400 grams of flour to make that single piece of Rasogolla weighing nine kg. The sweet was then served to 400 people in the locality. “We divided the iconic Rasogolla among people to observe the occasion,” said Abhinaba Basak, member of a self-help group ‘Junior One Hundred’ that organised the event.
The idea of creating the enormous Rosogolla was to pay a tribute to the legendary sweet maker Haradhan Mondal, who is regarded as the actual inventor of the sweet by the members of the self-help groups based in Fulia. IANS also reports that a Kolkata-based confectioner named Nobin Chandra Das is known to be the inventor of the popular spongy white Banglar Rasogolla in 1868. Basak, however, claimed that the sweet dish was invented in his hometown Fulia much before that by the confectioner Haradhan Mondal who later moved to Kolkata and came in touch with Das. He reportedly said, “The original Rasogolla, invented in Nadia was known as soft Rasogolla. It was first invented by Mondal at his small sweet shop in Fulia. He is the actual inventor of the dish….Nobin Chandra Das was responsible for making the spongy Rasogolla and making it popular.”
The GI tag was developed to recognise the unique identity connecting different products and places. For a product to get GI tag, it has to have a unique quality, reputation or characteristic which is attributable to its geographic origin. Reportedly, 267 products have received GI tags so far, of which 12 are from Bengal. these include Darjeeling tea, Santiniketan leather goods, mango varieties such as Laxman Bhog, himsagar and fazli, Santipore saree, Baluchari saree, Dhaniakhali saree, Joynagarer moa and the more recent entrants —Bardhman Sitabhog and Bardhman Mihidana (both sweets).
Well, irrespective of who invented the sweet, it is enjoyed with equal delight across the country. And one thing is quite clear, West Bengal sure knows how to celebrate its victory!