Bengal has the credit to it's name for having all of these food items that are worth a GT tag.
Bengal has no dearth of items when it comes to GI tagging them. Be it food, art culture there are almost twenty items from the state that sees a GI tag. For the uninitiated GI tag is geographical indication that is given to products that sees a very niche or specific geographical origin and has a reputation for themselves. And these can be items from Historic & Cultural Importance, food and so on. With Bengal celebrating GI tag for lot of items here are few of the food items that have stood the test of time and have made a mark for themselves.
A sweet whose origin can be traced in 1904. This popular Bengali dessert, that’s made during winter month only is made kanakchur khoi (fried aromatic rice) that’s mixed with fresh date-palm jaggery and made into balls. This GI tag sweet sees only 26 authorised makers of this sweet. Tracing it roots back to Ashutosh Das who first made this in Joynagar. This sweet only used the first flush of palm juice which makes it all the more desirable.
Burdwan’s Sitabhog and Mihidana
This sweet had once floored Lord Curzon. “Bardhaman's Sitabhog“ and “Bardhaman's Mihidana” got it’s GI tag in 2017. Traditionally Sitabhog was made from Sitashol rice mixed with cottage cheese but with commercialization the rice is now replaced with Gobindobhog rice. While mihidana the smaller version of boondi sees powdered rice and besan along with ghee, powdered sugar and saffron. Sitabhog is white while, Mihidana is yellow in color.
When we talk tea, one cannot ignore the taste and aroma of Darjeeling tea. Exported around the world, this tea is unique as once the leaves are processed it results in black, green, white, or oolong tea. Made from a Chinese variety of the tea plant, each flush (the first and the second) is a cup full of taste, color, and aroma. Darjeeling tea got it’s GI tag in 2019 and the black version is the one that sees full fermentation, oolongs semi-fermented, and Darjeeling green tea sees no fermentation.
Gobindobhog rice and Tulaipanji rice
When we talk about variety if rice grains in our country there is no dearth of various indigenous variety. Two such variety from the state of Bengal is Gobindobhog rice and Tulaipanji rice. The former is short grain, aromatic rice while the later is also an indigenous aromatic rice. Both these indigenous rice variety have earned a GI tag for themselves. These 'non-Basmati aromatic rice' sees a number of recipes made from them. Cooked rice has a soft, delicate, texture.