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by Mixture Box 30 Jun 2024

Embark on a culinary journey through Odisha with our comprehensive guide to the state’s iconic festival sweets. This blog delves into the origins, cultural significance, and unique recipes of Odisha’s beloved sweets, offering a taste of tradition and celebration.

Section 1: Rasagola : History: Origin story of Odisha’s famous Rasagola and its GI tag.


The Origin Story

Like many other traditions of Odisha, the history of Rasagola is also connected with culture and religion of the state. As per the popular beliefs and history, Rasagola was first made in 12th century in the holy town Puri, where the illustrious Jagannath Temple is located.


Tied to Lord Jagannath: Rasagola has strong connections with the Jagannath Temple rituals. It is offered to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra during Niladri Bije which concludes the Rath Yatra festival. As per the temple customs, Rasagola is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi to satisfy her for the nine days absence of Lord Jagannath during Rath Yatra. It is believed that the offering of Rasagola symbolizes the peace between Lord Jagannath and Goddess Lakshmi.


Mentioned in Literature: The first mention of Rasagola in Odia literature can be found in the Odia book "Dandi Ramayan" written by Balaram Das in 15th century. Balaram Das was a poet and a devotee of Lord Jagannath. Thus it can be assumed that Rasagola has been a part of Odia cuisine for long time.


Change with time: Century after century, Rasagola recipe has been experimented and handed down from generations to generations. The authentic Odia Rasagola boasts of a distinct texture and flavor which distinguishes it from its counterparts in other parts of India.


Geographical Indication (GI) Tag: In July 2019, Odisha Rasagola was awarded with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Registrar of Geographical Indications. This was a moment of pride for Odisha. The GI tag for Rasagola was a long cherished demand of Odia population worldwide. It is said that this sweet meat had been an integral part of Odia culture for more than five centuries.


The GI Tag process: The application for GI tag for Odisha Rasagola had to go through a very competitive process involving detailed documentation, proof and evidence. It took several years of rigorous research, evidence and documentation to prove the historical claims of Odisha Small Industries Corporation (OSIC) and Utkal Mistanna Byabasayee Samiti (UMBS).


The GI Tag impact: The GI tag for Odisha Rasagola acknowledges its distinctive nature, its unique qualities and its special place in Odia culture and history. It prevents other regions from appropriating the identity of this sweet. Thus, the GI tag helps in conservation of a valuable part of cultural heritage of Odisha. It also benefits the local sweet makers economically by enhancing the product value.


Differences Between Odisha Rasagola and Other Varieties: What makes Odisha rasagola unmistakable in a GI tag are various distinguishing attributes like how it's made, what goes into its making just as how it feels when eaten. One key feature that differentiates it from the Bengali variety is its less wet feel as well its harder nature; thus its burnt brownish look from some parts due to sugar caramelize while cooking.


Conclusion: : Not only is the Odisha’s Rasagola tale one about a sugary delight. It also serves as a point of reference indicating the culture-rich aspects of this state. Founded at its inception on temple in Jagannath, this sweet continues to be celebrated today through recognition under GI tag scheme. Odia culture and cuisine will always live through Rasagola if preserved and supported this aspect. Future generations will therefore continue to cherish these cultural endowments"

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