Doug the ugly New Zealand potato could be world’s biggest – Associated Press

Posted: November 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

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Donna Craig-Brown holds a large potato dug from her garden at her home near Hamilton, New Zealand Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. A New Zealand couple dug up a potato the size of a small dog in their backyard and have applied for recognition from Guinness World Records. They say it weighed in at 7.9 kilograms (17 pounds), well above the current record of just under 5 kg. They've named the potato Doug, because they dug it up. (Colin Craig-Brown via AP)

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Donna Craig-Brown holds a large potato dug from her garden at her home near Hamilton, New Zealand Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. A New Zealand couple dug up a potato the size of a small dog in their backyard and have applied for recognition from Guinness World Records. They say it weighed in at 7.9 kilograms (17 pounds), well above the current record of just under 5 kg. They've named the potato Doug, because they dug it up. (Colin Craig-Brown via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were weeding their garden in New Zealand when Colins hoe struck something huge just beneath the soils surface.

As the couple knelt down and began digging around the object, Colin wondered if it was some kind of strange fungal growth, a giant puffball. After Colin pried it out with his garden fork, he scratched away a bit of the skin and tasted it.

A potato.

We couldnt believe it, Donna said. It was just huge.

And not exactly pretty. Donna describes its appearance as more of an ugly, mutant look.

But its quite possibly the largest potato on record. When the couple lugged it into their garage and put it on their old set of scales, it weighed in at a remarkable 7.9 kilograms (17.4 pounds). Thats equal to a couple of sacks of regular potatoes, or one small dog.

In the weeks since their unusual find on Aug. 30, the couples potato has become something of a celebrity around their small farm near Hamilton. Theyve named the potato Doug, after the way it was unearthed, and Colin even built a small cart to tow Doug around.

We put a hat on him. We put him on Facebook, taking him for a walk, giving him some sunshine, Colin said. Its all a bit of fun. Its amazing what entertains people.

A more official weigh-in at a local farming store put Doug at 7.8 kg. The Guinness World Records entry for the heaviest potato is a 2011 monster from Britain that weighed in at just under 5 kg. The couple say theyve applied to Guinness to have Doug recognized and are waiting to hear back.

Guinness said it couldnt share information on the application and that the British potato remained the record-holder, for now at least.

Colin said he doesnt have any secret gardening tips. Usually they throw a bunch of cow manure and straw onto their garden and see what happens. He said theyd been growing cucumbers in that area of their garden before the weeds took over and hadnt planted any potatoes. Doug must have been self-sown, and quite possibly growing for a couple of years or more.

Its a mystery to me, Colin said. Its one of natures little pleasant surprises.

But Doug hasnt proved an easy charge to look after. As the couple showed the potato off, it began drying out and losing weight. Mold started growing from its wounds.

He was getting a bit pongy, said Colin, referring to the potatos smell.

So Colin cleaned up Doug as best he could and put the potato in the freezer, where it remains.

But Colin may not be done with Doug yet. An amateur brewer, Colin said hes keen to turn Doug into a nice drop of potato vodka.

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Doug the ugly New Zealand potato could be world's biggest - Associated Press

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