Idaho ain’t got nuthin‘ on this potato.
Colin and Donna Craig-Brown of Hamilton, New Zealand, were working their garden on Aug. 30 when Colin unexpectedly struck at something big and hard with his weeding hoe. Curious, the pair dropped to the ground to dig around the massive object below the surface.
They eventually pried out the formation — which Colin thought might be some kind of fungus. But then he peeled off a bit of its skin and put it in his mouth.
Turns out it was a potato — and a monstrous one at that.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Donna told the Associated Press. “It was just huge.”
So huge, in fact, that at a whopping 17 pounds — equivalent to 40 or so medium-size russets — it may be the largest potato ever recorded, they later learned.
In a weird twist, there’s no telling how the outsize vegetable even came to be, the proud potato parents said, because they hadn’t planted potatoes in that area of their garden — and they now believe it may have been growing there for years.
“It’s a mystery to me,” Colin said. “It’s one of nature’s little pleasant surprises.”
The “ugly spud” dubbed Doug — a wordplay on “dug,” the means by which it was unearthed — has since become a local celebrity in their community, with Colin even fashioning a wagon to lug Doug around for all the neighbors to see.
“We put a hat on him. We put him on Facebook, taking him for a walk, giving him some sunshine,” Donna said. “It’s all a bit of fun. It’s amazing what entertains people.”
The Craig-Browns took Doug to a local farming store for a more official weigh-in for others to witness. According to Guinness World Records, the current record holder for the largest potato goes to a 2011 tuber from Britain that weighed just under 5 kilograms, or about 11 pounds.
Doug handily beats the reigning champ, weighing in at 7.8 kilograms, or just over 17 pounds.
Alas, Doug’s tour is taking its toll, with the titanic tater slowly drying out and beginning to form mold. “He was getting a bit pongy,” Colin said of its odor.
The gardeners continue to await a call from Guinness while the hulking root sits in their freezer for preservation.
And there may be more in store for Doug, as one amateur distiller has expressed interest in using it to make potato vodka, said Colin.
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