Kendrapara: With Odisha MPs taking initiative to accord geographical indication (GI) tag to Kendrapara’s famous sweet ‘Rasabali’, people have become eager to know more about this mouth-watering delicacy.
Offering details on preparing the sweet, Baishnab Panda of Keshpur market, who has been in the business of preparing ‘Rasabali’, says, “Earlier the sweet used to be prepared only inside temples and offered to the Lord. With the passage of time, it came out of the temple premises and now it is being sold in hotels, restaurants, fairs and festivals across the state. And the sweet is always in great demand. Children, as well as elders, are fond of it.”
“This item is not so easy to prepare. It requires expertise. Country cheese, ghee, milk, sugar, big cardamom and green cardamom (elaichi) go into its preparation. The exact proportions of the ingredients and a set of skilled hands can only give it its original taste,” he informs.
Informing about the benefits of the GI tag, Bhuban Mohan Jena, a local intellectual, says the tag goes a long way in improving the brand value of a product. Once accorded, the business of the particular item/product increases manifold and, at the same time, the chances of its duplication are less. The product also gets instant publicity which in turn helps economic development of the place of origin.
“Kendrapara district is famous for Shri Baldev Jew temple, Rasabali and Bhitarkanika National Park. When the sweet gets the GI tag, it will give us, not to mention the people of Odisha, great satisfaction,” he adds.
Researchers Niranjan Mekap and Anita Sabat say the tradition of offering ‘Rasabali’ as ‘bhog’ to lord Baldevjew in Tulasikshetra was started during the time of Maharaja Anang Bhima Deba and the practice still continues. Chandi Purana, Dandi Ramayan and Gangabanshanucharita mention about the sweet and its association with Kendrapara. They claim that Kendrapara is the sweet’s place of origin.
Notably, BJD MPs Subhash Singh, Munna Khan and Mamata Mohanta met the Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal at his office in New Delhi August 1 and handed over a memorandum seeking geographical indication (GI) tag for Kendrapara’s famous sweet dish ‘Rasabali’.
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