Bengal and rosogolla are synonymous to each other! Being a true blue Bengali, Sampurna Majumder offers a delicious peep into the sweet’s history.
It was during the British colonial days that the rosogolla suddenly made its appearance on Bengal’s platter. To trace its origins one has to travel way back in time, nineteenth century Bagbazaar, a famous north Calcutta locality. It is where, Nobin Chandra Das, the man who invented the rosogolla resided. He was poor and fatherless and his only source of income came from the sweets that he sold from a ramshackle sweet shop in the by lanes of Bagbazaar. Little did he know that one day he would become a legend.
Nobin Chandra’s rosogolla was born in an age when Bengali sweets meant the ubiquitous sandesh made from sugar and cottage cheese. As was the trend, Nobin Chandra also made sandesh but he itched to do something new, create a sweet that would be juicy and succulent. He decided to experiment the same cottage cheese by boiling it in sugar syrup. Many of his attempts ended in a failure, as once put in the sugar syrup the cheese crumbled. He found that the sugar syrup had to be kept in even temperature so that the casein stays intact. So on one fine day in 1868 the rosogolla was born. However the rosogolla had humble beginnings.
Nobin Chandra waited patiently for the recognition of this wonderful creation. It did not happen until Bhagwandas Bagla, a wealthy non-Bengali merchant made his appearance at Nobin Chandra’s sweet shop along with his family. One of his children was thirsty, and stopped in front of the sweet shop in search of water. Nobin Chandra met their demand. The child was given a glass of water and a rosogolla. He was delighted at the taste of this unique delicacy and asked his father to share it as well. No doubt the father was equally impressed. He bought huge quantities of rosogolla for his friends and family. Though a rudimentary publicity, it proved to be immensely helpful. The rosogolla became a hit and over the years acquired the status of Bengal’s most famous sweet.