From Darjeeling Tea To Bikaneri Bhujia: Guide To GI Tagged Foods Across India

Introduced in 2003, India has more than 350 GI tagged products till date. It is generally given to indigenous agricultural products, food items, handicrafts etc.

Somdatta Saha  |  Updated: August 04, 2020 17:33 IST

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From Darjeeling Tea To Bikaneri Bhujia: Guide To GI Tagged Foods Across India

Kashmiri saffron one of the costliest spices of the world

Highlights
  • GI stands for Geographical Indication tags
  • Darjeeling tea was the first product in India to receive GI tag
  • Kashmiri saffron one of the costliest spices of the world

We tend to associate bhujiya to Bikaner, tea to Darjeeling and saffron to Kashmir, so much so that over the years these food items have become an intrinsic component of the places' identity (and vice-versa). As a result, they have been bestowed upon with Geographical Indication (GI) tags. What is GI tag? It is a part of the intellectual property rights that is given to a specific product that corresponds to a specific geographical origin. Introduced in 2003, India has more than 350 GI tagged products till date. It is generally given to indigenous agricultural products, food items, handicrafts etc.

Here's a list of 7 GI tagged food products across India that have garnered huge fame on global platform:

Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea was the first product in India to receive GI tag in 2004-2005. Grown in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong district of West Bengal, this variety of tea is renowned world-wide for to its floral aroma and 'muscatel' flavour. For the uninitiated, muscatel refers to the unique musky-spicy flavour of Darjeeling tea.

Also Read: Tea Lovers! Here Are 6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Resist That Another Cup Of Tea

Hyderabadi Haleem

If you happen to be a meat lover, you perhaps do not need an introduction to Haleem This appetising slow-cooked dish (meat-stew) is widely enjoyed across India, with the most popular one being the Hyderabadi haleem. Hence, to recognise its popularity, this specific version of haleem was given a GI tag in 2010.

Coorg Arabica Coffee

Coffee cultivation is one of the most significant occupations among the people of Karnataka, especially in the Kodagu district (Coorg area). The climate and geographical conditions of the district provides some uniqueness to the coffee that brings out a rich flavour and aroma when roasted. This makes the Coorg Arabica coffee a popular choice among coffee lovers. Keeping the fame and premium quality in mind, it was given a GI tag in 2019.

Also Read: Know Your Coffee: Cappuccino, Latte and 15 Different Kinds

Kashmiri Saffron

There's no doubt that Kashmir is home to premium quality saffron. Rich aroma (and flavour), distinctive colour and wide range of health benefitting properties have made saffron of this state one of the costliest spices of the world. Hence, to honour to this indigenously produced spice, it was given a GI tag in 2020.

Manipuri Black Rice

Second food item to receive a GI tag in 2020 is Manipuri black rice (or chakhao). This variety of rice is packed with several nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre et al. Alongside, the black rice of Manipur has also garnered popularity due to its special aroma, nutty flavour and the dark purple colour it obtains after cooking.

Also Read: White Rice, Brown Rice Or Red Rice: Which One is the Healthiest?

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West Bengal's Gobindabhog Rice

Another variety of rice known for its strong aroma is Gobindabhog of West Bengal. It is widely used in traditional Bengali cuisine, with the most popular dish being 'basanti pulao'. Cultivated in the districts of Burdwan, Hoogly, Nadia and Birbhum, this variety was allotted GI tag in 2017.

Bikaneri Bhujia

It won't be an exaggeration to say that Bikaneri bhujia is synonymous to chai-time snacks across India. Moreover, it is a popular cottage industry of Bikaner, which provides employment to almost 2.5 million people of this region. Hence, in 2010, Bikaneri bhujia was given GI tag to ensure that none other than the registered users will be allowed to use the name of the popular product.

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About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.

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