India gives ‘king of sweets’ rosogolla a geographical tag to end bitter rivalry

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Varieties of ‘Rosogolla’, popularly known as the king of Indian sweets, are displayed inside a sweet shop in Kolkata, India, November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

KOLKATA – India has awarded a “geographical indications” tag to rosogolla, the king of Indian sweets, after a years-long battle between two neighbouring states over the ownership rights.

Luscious rosogolla, or sweet cheese balls dripping with sugar syrup, have long been a favourite dessert across the Indian subcontinent and among the diaspora.

But two eastern states, West Bengal and Odisha, have been arguing over the origins of rosogolla, which means a ball of sweet. They consulted historians and produced old documents to support their claims.

On Tuesday, the federal commerce and industry ministry ruled that the sweet originated from West Bengal, giving it the coveted “geographical indications” tag.

The World Trade Organization says “geographical indications” defines a good as originating in a particular territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is available.

West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the decision saying in a Twitter post it was “sweet news for us all”.

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