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New Zealanders Learn Their Record Potato Is Something Else

A large potato sits on a trolly in a garden at Donna and Colin Craig-Browns home near Hamilton, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov 3, 2021. (Donna Craig-Brown via AP)
New Zealanders Learn Their Record Potato Is Something Else
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Last year, a husband and wife in New Zealand thought they had found a record-breaking potato in their garden.

A potato is a round root-like food that is eaten as a vegetable and is popular around the world.

Colin Craig-Brown found the potato with his wife, Donna. They dug it up and put it on a scale. It weighed nearly eight kilograms.

They even named the potato “Doug,” (d-o-u-g) or “dug” (d-u-g) because they “dug it up” from their garden.

Doug, the potato, became famous.

But then, the two sent some of the potato to the Guinness Book of World Records, based in Britain, to confirm their record.

After months of submitting photos and papers, Colin and Donna recently got some bad news. It turns out what they found in their garden was not a potato, after all.

It was a different kind of plant. Guinness said they had found the tuber of a gourd.

“For this reason we do unfortunately have to disqualify the application,” the e-mail from Guinness read.

So, the existing record still stands. That potato weighed about five kilograms when it was found in Britain in 2011.

Colin said what he found tasted and looked like a potato. But he was not objecting to Guinness’s decision. After all, he sent them a sample and the organization tested its DNA.

“What can you say?” Colin asked.

A gourd, however, is a kind of decorative fruit with a hard shell. The tuber is a stem that grows out of the gourd.

Even though Doug is no longer the world’s largest potato, Colin is still happy to have found such an interesting thing in his garden. Doug is in his freezer.

He said he still says “good-day” to Doug each morning when he takes food from the freezer.

While he was disappointed with the Guinness decision, Colin said he is ready to give it another try during the next growing season.

And this time, it will definitely be a potato.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English based a report by The Associated Press.

Have you heard of a record setting vegetable where you live? What kind of vegetable was it? Let us know. Write to us in the Comments Section and visit our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

scale –n. a device that measures weight

turn out –v. (phrasal) to happen, end, or develop in a particular way

decorative – adj. used to make something more attractive; used for decoration

stem – n. a main long, thin part of a plant that grows above the ground and usually supports leaves