There are some culinary combinations that are just natural: salt and pepper, butter and popcorn, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza and beer and, of course, potatoes and ketchup. The latter two paired themselves in majestic fashion Wednesday when the world’s largest fabricated potato visited The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle ®.
Collinsville firefighter David Bennett brought his three children to see the Great Big Idaho® Potato make one of its 50 stops on a 7-month tour to help raise awareness and funds for Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organization that delivers over 1 million meals each day to needy seniors.
“My wife saw it announced and wanted me to bring the kids. I thought we were going to see a real potato,” Bennett said.
“It’s just a big, giant rock,” Bennett’s daughter, Abby said.
The giant spud is actually made of plywood and has a steel frame. The outside is coated with sprayed-on concrete, Tater Team member Kristie Wolfe said.
Wolfe, Tyler Pagel and Paul Humbracht make up the Tater Team. The trio have been toting the 6-ton tuber around the United States for over five months. Typical stops are trade shows, festivals and parades, but they have also parked alongside the world’s largest egg, fork and Superman. “So, we’re knocking a few of these things off,” Pagel said.
Humbracht has the honor of driving the 72 feet long truck. Because it is an oversized load, the regulations change from state-to-state, and even city-to-city, Pagel said. Despite the frequently changing laws, the Tater Team has been pulled over by police only twice. “We call those people tater haters,” Pagel said.