RUMPUS OVER ROSOGOLLA

          রসগোল্লা গণ্ডগোল        Rosogolla Gaṇḍagōla 

“A rose by any other name will smell as sweet”.  A quote from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Here Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival’s house of Montague. The reference is often used to imply that the name of things do not affect what they really are. Here the GI tag reference is used to imply that the origin of the food do affect what they really are.

Both KC Das and Haldiram make Rosogollas. I could not find any difference. I only check the date of manufacture and whether the tin is rusted or not. I will not accept even the crushed tins. Why should I? When I am paying for it.I just open the tin and within minutes all out.

While sitting before the dining table I was served with a plate of three steaming idlis. The fluffy stuff was really kept in a photogenic way along with melt-in-the-mouth Getty chutney. The ‘malligaippoovaattam’ in the local Tamil parlance was something to be touched and felt.I started cutting the idly with the spoon and went on doing this till the entire lot became powdery. I should have scrambled it keeping between my both palms, just an action  performed by the Tamil villain M N Nambiar, each time he gets out of his brain to catch the heroine.

My daughter intervened and asked what I am doing? Shhhh, searching for GI. My imagination went up to UDUPPI in searching for the GI mark.

This news about GI is there for the past few days.

A tastiest sweet is under fire and this fluffy stuff always floating in the sugar syrup is compressed and stretched by two neighboring states. The ownership of its origin and its genesis is the case to be solved. So far nobody bothered about this while swallowing this little white ball and enjoying it while it gets dissolved at the entry point itself.

Long back we were fighting for the patent row over TURMERIC. What happened? Nothing.

An interesting anecdote during the visit of Vasco Da Gama and his meeting with local chieftain King Saamoothiri in Kerala. Gama wanted the creepers of the Pepper spice to be taken to Spain and with a large heart our king offered them in plenty. After Gama left, our king got upset. He lamented his mistake to his wise minister Mangaattachan. The king got upset in losing the trade of pepper in future years to come. Mangaattachan answered back saying that the king has offered only the creepers and not the season.  The king had the sigh of relief.

Every food item has its own genesis unknown. It is a secret of God. Still they are all legitimate.  Will every food item come out with a GI tag? Or will there be watermark or a barcode or a scanner logo? Will this be made mandatory?

Once there was an ad in TV on ‘Woodward’s Gripe Water’. The ad will start for a cure of stomach pain for a child for three generations. Actually the ad media wanted to go back to prehistoric Neanderthal period.  They wanted the real GI to be stamped in their ad apart from the U, U/A certification. Due the time slot, they cut it short. Otherwise it will tantamount to century long film with prohibitive length. How long the people can bear to control their bladder.

We had films like Ten Commandments with 4 intervals and BenHar with 3 intervals and Mera naam joker with 2 intervals. We could bear them for the story and picturisation.

Coming back to the fight for the right in GI, can we find the GI of Dosa, Vadai and the Mughalai dishes? Even Akbar and Babar would not have thought about it. They were enjoying the dishes.  They were the gourmet’s delights.

What GI tag are we going to hang on the roadside Paruppu Masal Vadai which is so aromatic and delicious?

There is AGMARK on the ghee tin. Is it etched in the atoms of ghee granules? For a GI tag, we have to go back to the Vedic Period and not within the states.

Now back to our dear Rosogolla. One claims that it was offered to Lord Jagannaatha of Puri from the period BC. The counter argument is that it is a sweet offered to Kali after her return  killing the Asura from the earlier Yuga itself.  Now where is the judge to give a neutral verdict? If he is a diabetic, then the case will be further adjourned till his cure to taste and search for the GI mark with a magnifying glass!

Long back there was an interesting case in the Madras High court. Why I say it was interesting only from the verdict that was given by hitting the gavel.It was the dispute over the marking to be applied on the forehead of an elephant in the Kanchi temple. The Great God had two manifestations. Being a stylish God, He happened to sport two types of marks on His forehead V and Y. Who came first, V or Y, just like pondering the egg or the hen?  As per lexicon it is V and then Y. But few were adamant in holding the book upside down!The fight went on for years. Finally a verdict was announced. Whether it is Vadakalai mark or thenkalai mark on the forehead of the temple elephant is important.  Whatever may the mark, the elephant is not concerned.  For the past many years, the elephant was not fed properly by these two parties. Let them feed it properly and forget about the mark.

The origin of Maggi noodle is not China or Taiwan or Japan. It is an unhealthy remake of the healthy south Indian ‘Sevai’ what our grandma was making with boiled rice powder balls squeezed through multiple holed jaladai with a die-set in wood or metal. It is the present day ‘Idiyaappam’.What about the south Indian delicacy’ Ribbon pokkodaam’? Will anyone be interested to analyze it to find its GI?

To search for the GI mark of the age old purgative oil, the Castor Oil, one should search for the trails of the ####@@@@@@@.

Stop the unwanted fight of establishing the origin of the dishes. It’s fine to find the roots for academic interest. Why this debates and debacles?  Be a connoisseur of good food before they turn stale.

Hope the Kalinga War II (Rosogolla War) is over.   Great India. Next in waiting will be the GI tag for the famous ‘Bhelpuri, Golgoppa and Pani puri. Sorry to miss “Lonawala Chikki” and the 21st century Pizza. Unfortunately we do not have Tarla Dalal who would have been helpful in unearthing the DNA and document the dishes.  How far our Sanjay and Vikas will help us in knowing the secret GI?

By Sundareswaran Date:  11th Aug 2015. Source: Times of India, Chennai dated 11th Aug 2015.

Caption: Bengal takes up rosogolla GI tag battle with Odisha.  Page 12.

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