Varanasi’s Tiranga Barfi Receives GI Tag; Know Its History
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Representing tricolours of the Indian national flag, tiranga barfi boasts a unique flavour. Originated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, this unique sweet comes with three layers and the top is decorated with a silver leaf. It is now among many Indian dishes, including red ant chutney, Goa bebinca, kendrapara rasabali from Odisha, and raman sulai honey from Jammu & Kashmir, to receive the GT (Geographical Identification) tag.  

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Since the sweet represents the saffron and green hues of the Indian national flag, it is among the first picks to be distributed in schools and colleges on national holidays like Republic Day and Independence Day. However, its rich flavour makes it a crucial part of celebratory gatherings as well as weddings. 

History Of Varanasi’s Tiranga Barfi

If the roots of this unique Indian sweet dish are traced, one will find them in 1940, a pre-independence era when the freedom fighters needed a method to communicate with each other without alerting Britishers. It is believed that tiranga barfi was invented for special gatherings of Indian revolutionaries. 

Madan Gupta, who was the owner of Ram Bhandar sweet shop in the city, was a part of those gatherings and involved in sharing secret intelligence among freedom fighters. He, along with other revolutionaries, used to make this sweet dish to communicate in times when tricolour was banned by the British government. 

One of the best aspects of this barfi was its distribution was free. Freedom fighters used to gather by understanding the signal to fight against the British Raj. The use of tiranga barfi for communication was once red-handedly caught by the authorities who were left baffled seeing the colours of the Indian national flag on a sweet dish. 

How Sweet Shops Make Tiranga Barfi

It is only now that people have started to use edible colours in dishes to make them irresistible, but this is not the case with tiranga barfi. If you ever visit Varanasi, you must visit Ram Bhandar sweet shop. Customers claim that after more than 75 years of independence, the taste of the sweet is still the same. 

The green hue comes from pistachios and the saffron hue comes from saffron strands. Adding richness to the sweet dish are milk-based khoya and cashews. Apart from this, Varanasi is also famous for its street food and other delicacies. If you ever decide to visit the holy city situated on the banks of the Ganga River, you must indulge in malaiyyo, kachori-sabzi, tamatar chaat, thandai, and Banarasi paan. 

What Is A GI Tag?

The geographical identification (GI) tag is given to products with a specific geographical origin. It must hold a specific reputation because of its origin. The first GI tag was given to the Darjeeling Tea, and post tiranga barfi has received the tag, Uttar Pradesh has become the state with six GI tags assigned to various products.