Nutritional growth | Nutritional Health Benefits & Diet

From Banaras to the World: The Journey of Banarasi Paan and its GI Tag

Banarasi Paan

From Banaras to the World: The Journey of Banarasi Paan and its GI Tag

Banaras, also known as Varanasi, is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, magnificent temples, and mouth-watering cuisine. One of the most famous delicacies of the city is the Banarasi Paan, a traditional preparation made from betel leaves, areca nuts, and a variety of other ingredients.

The Banarasi Paan has a rich history that dates back several centuries. Initially, it was only consumed by the royal families and elite classes of the city. However, over time, it gained popularity among the masses, and today, it is one of the most sought-after delicacies of the city.

In today’s period, the Banarasi Paan was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Government of India. A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

The GI tag has been instrumental in protecting and promoting the Paan within India and globally. Here’s a look at the journey of the Banarasi Paan from Benares to the world.

The Origin of Banarasi Paan

The origins of the Paan can be traced back to ancient times. It is believed that paan was first consumed in India more than 2,000 years ago, during the Mauryan Empire. Over time, the consumption of paan became a popular pastime among the people of India, especially in the northern regions.

The Banarasi Paan, in particular, is said to have originated in the royal kitchens of the Mughal emperors who ruled over India in the 16th century. The emperors and their courtiers were known to consume paan as a palate cleanser after meals. The recipe for the Banarasi Paan was passed down through generations and was eventually popularized among the masses.

The Ingredients and Preparation of Banarasi Paan

The Banarasi Paan is made using betel leaves, areca nuts, and various other ingredients such as cardamom, fennel seeds, cloves, and rose petals. The betel leaves used for making the paan are grown in the nearby districts of Jaunpur, Ghazipur, and Mirzapur, which have unique soil and climatic conditions that give the leaves their distinct flavor.Banarasi Paan

The leaves are washed, dried, and cut into the desired size. The areca nuts are sliced and mixed with a paste made from slaked lime, which acts as a binding agent. The other ingredients are then added to the mixture, and the resulting paste is spread over the betel leaf. The leaf is then folded into a cone or triangle shape and served as a mouth freshener.

The GI Tag and Its Benefits

The GI tag helped to protect the Paan from being copied or duplicated by other manufacturers. It also helped to promote delicacy and its unique qualities to consumers within India and abroad.

The GI tag has been beneficial to the local economy of Banaras as well. The demand for Banarasi Paan has increased, leading to a rise in the income of the local paan vendors and manufacturers. The GI tag has also helped to preserve the traditional method of preparing the plan,

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