Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

'Heaviest' potato set for display

Khalil Semhat and his huge potato
Khalil Semhat insisted he had not used fertilizer to produce his potato

It may have lost its world's heaviest potato crown, but a champion spud dug up on the Isle of Man will be going back on display next year.

The 3.5kg (7lb 13oz) potato was bought by Greens restaurant in Douglas after it became the official world record holder more than 10 years ago.

But on Monday, it emerged that a farmer in southern Lebanon had grown a potato weighing in at 11.3kg (24.9lbs).

Greens owner Nigel Kermode said his vegetable was "still a champion".

Lebanese farmer Khalil Semhat hopes the monster spud from his farm near Tyre, 85km (50 miles) south of Beirut, will take the crown.

It's gone all sort of grey and brown and it doesn't look very appetising
Nigel Kermode, restaurant owner

But according to the Guinness Book of Records, the current record is still held by the Manx potato.

And Mr Kermode said there was still a local interest in the original, more than a decade after it was found.

"It's not on display at the moment. We've had it out periodically because, to be honest, it doesn't look very nice," he said.

"It's gone all sort of grey and brown and it doesn't look very appetising.

"We're still a world champion - we'll call it the second biggest potato in the world.

"We will put it on display when we open the new Tynwald restaurant, so it will be there."

2008 is the International Year of the Potato, a project sponsored by the United Nations to focus attention on the importance of the vegetable.

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Lebanese finds 'heaviest' potato
08 Dec 08 |  Middle East

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