Food Stories

who owns the rasgulla or rossogulla?

Rasgulla or rossogulla as far as I know was my sweet dear friend , eons ago in my school. She has a very pretty face and was very sweet looking, chubby, cute and golu-molu kind of. All the teachers fondly called her “rasgulla” after the great Indian dessert ! Then there was this tall Bengali boy who always prefers to eat his lunch alone as he used to have at least two rossogulla in his tiffin. One day I happened to peek in his lunch box and on seeing me he hurriedly gulped down two rossogullas at a go. And my father, who whenever used to visit my school will bring a box of rossogulla from Guptas. I thought Guptas (our local halwai / confectioner) made best rossogulla as everybody likes and prefers to have it from there.

On my every visit to Kolkata, my aunts and uncles will pester me with rossogulla saying “ok, you do not have to eat sweets, just have two rossogulla” as if rossogulla are not classified as sweets but has a class of their own, and that too two, not one !

one_rasgulla

one rasgulla for visiting and reading my blog

Years later when I moved to Kolkata my cousins took upon themselves as their moral responsibility to literate me on rossogulla and introduce me to K.C Das’s rossogulla. The legendary story of rossogulla it seems that K.C.Das’s  father N.C.Das discovered / invented the rossogulla and one fine day while making sweets the chenna ball accidentally drops into the boiling sugary syrup and thus the rossogulla came into life and from their travelled across the globe in tinned / canned containers to win the hearts of millions.

And rossogulla surely wins my heart as well. Often it tempts me, tease me and tantalize my taste buds and I become emotionally attached to rossogulla. One lazy afternoon while I was secretly gulping down these sweeties one of my NRI relative who is staying in Liverpool for last 40 years suddenly barged into me and exclaimed ” Rossogulla ! you mean those cheesy balls in sugary syrup” ! I was shocked and dismayed, it was so alienated, has rossogulla got rechristened in Europe ? I wonder how and when rossogulla become cheesy balls? eeeeeeeeek !

one_rasgulla

one more rasgulla for reading further

Few days back while I was googling about rossogulla, Wikipedia throws some new light on the origin of rossogulla. In the coastal city of Puri in Orissa, the rasgulla has been the traditional offering to the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi and thus the rossogulla is believed to be more than 600 years old. A new town called Salepur in Orissa came into light where the forefathers of rossogulla believed to be originated. Rossogulla surely have a great ancient past and while crossing the borders in its journey, fuse the two ethnic culture and in the process invokes the greatest argument in the history of cuisine and culture, who owns the rossogulla ?

Odiyas are highly upset over the fact that rasgulla is touted as Bengali sweet and some goes to the extent saying Bongs have sabotage their rasgulla. Historians opined that rasgulla came into existence long before, Bongs, odiyas and Assamese separates which is just few hundred years ago. But few facts remain straight that best rossogulla is found in Bhuvaneshwar and the spongy variety is marketed globally by K.C.Das, to which now Haldiram also joined in. Rasgulla belongs to odiyas as much as to Bongs and to any Indian for that matter who loves and relish this sweet beauties.

one_rasgulla

yeah ! one more for its great ancient past

Now in lights of new facts rasgulla seriously need a well documented literature with historical evidences so that India can patent it, otherwise U S may claim it as their own just like they did it for basmati and now they are after yoga. Yoga has its own saviour in form of Ramdev baba and Shilpa Shetty but rasgulla has none.

Master chefs here are experimenting with the rasgulla, some are topping with strawberry foam, some are with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauces. Soon Baskin robins will set up rasgulla counters and will sell rasgulla in different flavours. The world will divide into two religion chocolate and rasgulla, and to pacify the two hardliners there will arise chocolate rasgulla, fusion of two great religion and culture. The book “who moved my rasgulla” will win all the accolades in the literature and next time you think upon wooing your girlfriend, try with rasgulla and see how cupid works superfast.

But the ethical question still remains “who owns the rasgulla”? Well I own the rasgulla because I am currently holding a can of rasgulla and enjoying a popular “food show” on a very popular National channel where a high-profile food connoisseur and critic is explaining how and when rasgulla was invented in Benaras ? Any takers ????

rasgulla

a pot ful of deliciousness rasgulla / rosogolla

Read here: How to make rasgulla – a step by step visuals. Rasgulla recipe

If you like this article then please consider sharing it and do not forget to send me your feedbacks.

20 Comments

  • Reply
    Pixellicious Photos
    October 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Oh my god! That’s a sweet post 🙂

  • Reply
    S.R.Ayyangar
    October 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Why to worry about ‘who owns the rossogulla ?’ as long as the soft ever tempting ball goes in to the mouth and melts down!

    • Reply
      Siba
      May 4, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      It is like there is a cricket ball in the house . Two brothers were playing together happily . Suddenly one brother started “Cricket ball ” is mine.

      This is what happened now . Everybody know who always do shout among two brothers .

  • Reply
    sukanya ghosh
    October 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thanx both of you for lovely comments

  • Reply
    Jai Hind
    October 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    What a wonderful thought, Sukanya!

    Not only are Oriyas, Bengalis and Assamese speak very similar languages that are almost mutually intelligible like dialects, they are also very very close culturally and genetically. It’s disgraceful when these siblings battle it out over who “owns” the rasgula.

    Rasgula dish was invented in a city that happens to be inside Orissa, and popularised by enterpreneurs who happened to speak Bengali. But who owns it? THE PEOPLE OF INDIA!

    • Reply
      a s n o d k a j s y s
      October 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

      Let’s just cut the politically correctness.

      We’d be perfectly happy if the rasgulla were referred to as “Rasgulla-which-happen-to-have-been-popularized-by-Bengalis”, instead of just “Bengali rasgulla”, when it was invented in Odisha – sorry I meant – “geographic-location-which-happens-to-be-in-Odisha”.

      LOL!

  • Reply
    arpana
    October 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    just enjoy the sweetness —after all what is in the place when the delight right here in the plate.

  • Reply
    Abhishek
    October 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I guess nobody other then us[Indians] could ever try to patent the Rasgulla, its ours.
    Its been a longtime i have eaten it, will look for it now.

    • Reply
      sukanya ghosh
      October 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Thanx and I appreciate all of your sweet comments.

  • Reply
    Nethra
    October 22, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    It seems that Algebra originated in Indian and was stolen by a Muslim or Islamic traveler…hence the name algebra. World’s always taking credits for whatever originated in India. Not at all fair.

    By the way, I want to eat rasgulla now. 🙁

    • Reply
      a s n o d k a j s y s
      October 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      That’s precisely how Odias feel when rasagolla is labeled as a “Bengali sweet”.

      I like Sukanya’s article though…..

      • Reply
        sukanya
        October 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

        Thanks everyone who vote for this post and for your feedbacks as well.
        My penchant for rasgulla led me to its story of origin and in the process have come across few sites and blogs which are hosting a heated and distasteful argument that too on rasgulla ! that excites me to write this post (not to gain any extra blog mileage) which is written in very light and good humour, without upsetting any communities sentiments. Hence I am requesting the readers to refrain from such reactions which will ignite only hatredism towards eachother and nothing else.

        Well we can not change the history but can certainly change ourselves. It is high time we should think ourselves as a citizen of India rather than any state or region.

        So rasgulla belongs to the “people of India”.
        Sukanya

  • Reply
    varsha
    October 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I have tasted nothing as delicious as the brown chena rossogulla from Cuttack-the size of a cricket ball.
    Even though I am not that into sweets,I make concession for that.All the other white things with a unidimensional sweetness look like impostors in front of that.

    • Reply
      Nafisa
      October 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

      Spot on Varsha! Everything, I mean EVERYTHING pales in comparison to those mammoth sized brown rasgolla balls from Cuttack. God, they were so good!

      • Reply
        saffronstreaks
        October 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

        Hi nafisa welcome to my blog. Yeah those rasgullas are really out of this world.
        if any of you has the photo can share here. will love to see.

      • Reply
        a s n o d k a j s y s
        October 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

        You could always use the wikipedia image you know. It is the brown rasagolla, but not the big ones. Rasagollas in Odisha come in 5 sizes, “standard” being the next-to-smallest one.

        The wikipedia image is in public domain, thus nobody owns the copyright:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rasagolla.JPG

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rasagolla.JPG

    • Reply
      a s n o d k a j s y s
      October 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

      BTW Sukanya, You have shown good judgment. You transcended the petty Odia-Bengali bickering. I appreciate that. 🙂

      • Reply
        saffronstreaks
        October 31, 2010 at 7:51 am

        thanx a s n o d k a j s y s

        rasgulla is more important than anything else.
        pics are lovely and teasing 🙂
        hmmm…now I am craving for those. 🙂

  • Reply
    rasgulla or rossogulla « saffronstreaks … a food and travel blog
    July 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    […] of hearts across the world. No translation please ! Read here for a sweet and short story on rasgulla. a pot ful of deliciousness rasgulla / […]

  • Reply
    Shirdi Hotels
    August 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I feel so proud hearing rossogulla are also famous outside India, never thought my favorite sweet would be favorite of so many also to the foreigners 😛

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