It there’s one thing Americans take seriously, it’s their pumpkins. Sure, there’s the recent influx of pumpkin flavored foodstuffs, infecting everything from Whey Protein shakes to Pringles cans. But even before Starbucks first introduced the dreaded PSL in the early-Aughts, a source of pride in small town America was growing the biggest, baddest pumpkin on the block, and lording it over your neighbors until Thanksgiving.
Well, sorry America, but your pumpkin dominance has finally come to an end—and you can blame Europe.
Though the title belt has been held by Rhode Island for at least four years—and an elementary schoolteacher took top prize at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California this week with a 1,910-pound gourd—the world record for the largest, human-grown pumpkin now belongs to a dude from Belgium.
According to Agence France-Presse, the record-breaking pumpkin was weighed and certified at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Germany earlier this week. The farmer behind the 2,625-pound, car-sized pumpkin was Mathias Willemijns, who brought the pumpkin to Ludwigsburg from his home in Belgium.
The new world record came hot on the heels of some competition from the U.S. In addition to the contest in California, a Rhode Island man named Richard Wallace attempted to beat the North American pumpkin record set by his son in 2015.
Wallace’s son was the first person in the world to grow a pumpkin weighing over 2,000 pounds, and his father's 2,265-pound monster would have been the biggest in the world—that is, if it wasn’t for Willemijns.