The dark days of limited access to aubergines outside London

<span>Martin Brayne recalls the late Katharine Whitehorn’s account of moussaka made with potato.</span><span>Photograph: Jane Bown/The Observer</span>
Martin Brayne recalls the late Katharine Whitehorn’s account of moussaka made with potato.Photograph: Jane Bown/The Observer

On the subject of the north‑south dietary divide (Letters 19 May), the late, much-lamented Katharine Whitehorn informed us in the Observer in 1964 that she “was eating a moussaka in Bolton the other day which (though nice) was made with potato, and it suddenly made me realise just how little you can take aubergines for granted out of town”.
Martin Brayne
Whitehough, Derbyshire

• When we moved from Hackney to Bishop’s Stortford in 1977, the greengrocer responded to my request for a red pepper with a nose-in-the-air “there’s no call for that kind of thing round here”.
Lillian Adams

• Seeking a refreshing non-alcoholic drink during the recent warm weather, I combined a slug from a forgotten bottle of Vimto with a can of tonic water. Hey presto, a taste sensation! Delighted to read that my “invention” is both healthy and on trend (Espresso and tonic: rise in tonic water popularity leads to experimental mixes, 20 May).
Steve Hancock

• Could Emma Beddington let me know where I could buy some “woke white goods” (Free the fridges! Make dishwashers great again! US conservatives have odd priorities, 19 May). I could do with a fridge that tells me what I am about to put into it was produced by slave labour, or an oven to tell me that it needs more dishes to cook efficiently.
Margaret Squires
St Andrews, Fife

• I was pleased to read that “World foods are becoming more popular” (Sales of bao buns on a roll as Britons fall in love with Asian treat, 20 May). Those extraterrestrial ones were doing my head in.
Pete Bibby

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