The various types of potatoes that exist will never cease to amaze me. Whether they have a dark purple hue or are small in size, potatoes are a real shape-shifting vegetable. Despite this, a New Zealand couple was surprised to find out that their extremely large homegrown potato named Doug (also spelled “Dug”) is actually a gourd!
Colin and Donna Craig-Brown first came across this unusual find in late August, while they were weeding at home. After Colin’s gardening hoe struck a large object below the soil’s surface, his curiosity led him to use his fork to pry it out. Eventually, a unique-looking crop emerged, which Colin described as tasting like a potato. At 7.8 kilograms (17 pounds), Doug the “potato” is estimated to weigh just as much as a regular bag of potatoes or a small dog! See it for yourself in the video below.
Learning That Doug Isn’t Actually a Potato
The couple spent months putting in applications for Guinness World Records in the hopes that the organization would recognize Doug as the world’s largest potato. Guinness responded last week via email.
“Dear Colin,” the email starts. “Sadly, the specimen is not a potato and is in fact the tuber of a type of gourd [a hard-shelled fruit]. For this reason, we do unfortunately have to disqualify the application.”
This shocking revelation caught the couple off guard, as it looked and tasted like a potato. But even with this minor setback, Doug is still very much a part of their family and resides in the freezer. “I say ‘gidday’ to him every time I pull out some sausages. He’s a cool character,” Craigh-Brown tells The Associated Press. “Whenever the grandchildren come round, they say, ‘Can we see Dug?'”
Currently, UK-based farmer Peter Glazebrook holds the record for the world’s heaviest potato, as his crop weighed in at just under five kilograms in 2011. Although Craig-Brown accidentally discovered Doug, he’s still determined to break this record by intentionally growing a giant potato next season, using the research he picked up along this journey.
Best of luck to Craig-Brown on growing the next spud, which will hopefully reign supreme!