After a five-year wait, Kovilpatti kadalai mittai — peanut candy from the southern part of Tamil Nadu — was granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on Thursday.The coveted status was granted to Kovilpatti Regional Kadalaimittai Manufacturers and Retailers Association in Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district.
Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is a candy made of peanuts held together with glistening syrup, and topped with wisps of grated coconut dyed pink, green and yellow. In Kovilpatti, it is sold as single rectangular chunks, or rather cuboids, sealed in packets.
Kovilpatti kadalai mittai was originally prepared during village festivals using palm jaggery and groundnuts from nearby districts.
In the 1940s, Ponnambala Nadar, a grocery store owner in the town, decided to use sugarcane jaggery and peanuts to make the kadalai mittai. He also introduced the cutting of the candy into rectangular shapes instead of the traditional balls.Water from the Thamirabarani is used to enhance its taste.
The association filed the petition in 2014 submitting that Kovilpatti is synonymous with kadalai mittai. The candy is produced from groundnuts and organic jaggery obtained from specific locations.
It gets its unique flavour from the use of the special Theni jaggery. While regular jaggery is brown, hardened and sold in round lumps, this is fresh, pale and in soft triangular blocks.
The groundnuts are carefully sourced from the nearby town of Aruppukottai. They are first shelled and roasted in a machine before being held together with glistening syrup and topped with wisps of grated coconut dyed pink, green and yellow. Each 100 mg candy has protein, energy, carbohydrate and fat.
Kovilpatti kadalai mittai is produced by using both groundnuts and jaggery (organic jaggery), in carefully selected quantities from selected specific locations in Tamil Nadu. The groundnuts are grown in the native black soil in and around Kovilpatti. After sourcing, the groundnuts are shelled and roasted. This is how this Kovilpatti kadalai mittai has a unique traditional flavour.
Along with this, Manipuri Black Rice and Gorakhpur Terracotta were also granted GI Tag.
Validity for Kovilpatti kadalai mittai tag:
A GI Tag is valid for a decade, after which it can be renewed for another 10 years.
Who approves GI Tag in India?
In India, the GI tag is governed by the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act which came into being in 1999.This Act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also the Registrar of Geographical Indications.