Geographical indications (GI) of goods are defined as the aspect of industrial property that refers to a country or a place within it as the place of origin of that product. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness essentially attributed to the fact of its origin in that specified geographical location, region or country, according to the Chennai-based GI Registry. Interestingly, many food items appear on the list for April 2023-March 2024. Here are some of them…
Bebinca is a layered cake/pudding that is a testament to Goa’s multicultural culinary history. She is often referred to as the ‘Queen of Goan Desserts’ or the ‘Emperor of Goan Pastries’. Baked one layer at a time, it is a perfect harmony of flour, coconut milk and egg yolks along with ghee, palm oil, salt and nutmeg. Sister Bebiana, a nun from the Augustinian convent at Convento da Santa Monica in Goa’s old town, is said to have invented this sweet dish in the 17th century. Bebinca occupies a place of pride in Catholic Goan homes over the years, especially during parties and weddings. It is served at family gatherings, church feasts and, most importantly, Christmas.
Ramban Sulai honey
Ramban white honey in Jammu & Kashmir has a distinct flavor, aroma and taste. Commonly known as Sulai honey, it is highly nutritious with strong antioxidant and immunomodulatory capabilities. Bees forage for the nectar of Sulai’s white flowers during the month of August to October to produce this naturally sweet honey with floral hues. It is also called acacia honey as it is produced by bees (Apis mellifera) that feed on acacia flowers produced in this area. The wild flora imparts a unique flavor and texture to the honey. Light golden in color with medium viscosity, the aroma and taste are reminiscent of the Sulai flora of the forest region of Kashmir.
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Pootharekulu (plural) or poothareku (singular) is a popular sweet from the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The sweet is wrapped in a thin layer of rice starch that looks like paper and is filled with sugar, nuts and dried fruits. The sweet is popular at festivals, religious events and weddings in the Telugu speaking states. The name of the dessert literally means “wrapped sheet” in the Telugu language — pootha means “topping” and reku (plural rekulu) means “sheet” in Telugu. Making pootharekulu is a cottage industry
Arunachal Pradesh Yak Churpi
The West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh are home to a special species of yak that is prized by the Brokpas and Monpas, two of the indigenous tribes of the region. Derived from yak milk, there are two types of yak churp — the naturally fermented milk product: soft and hard. The hard kind can last up to 20 years with proper storage. In the region, yak churpi is important both culturally and economically. It works as a plant alternative, source of protein and has probiotic properties due to the lactic acid bacteria.
Rasabali is a sweet dish from Odisha. It is offered to god Baladevjew and comes from the Baladevjew Temple of Kendrapara in Odisha. It is one of the chappan bhoga of Jagannath temple. Rasabali of Kendrapara got GI tag on October 3 last year. The sweet dish consists of fried flattened brownish-red chhena (farmer’s cheese) patties soaked in thick, sweetened milk (rabri). Flattening the chhena into palm-sized patties is done so that they can absorb the milk more easily. Condensed milk is also usually lightly flavored with crushed cardamom.
Simlipal Kai Chutney
“Kai Chutney” is made from red weaver ants, called “kai pimpudi” in the local dialect. These red ants are found in nests that they create by weaving leaves and withstand rain and wind. Chutney is eaten by the tribals of Mayurbhanj region in Odisha. The chutney is believed to be rich in protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper and 18 amino acids. Kai chutney is celebrated in the region, not only for its fiery taste but also for its medicinal properties. It is said to help with soothing coughs, the common cold, jaundice and even vision problems. It has also been shown to boost immunity, helping those who make an ant soup to regain their strength.