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