CHEAP FOOD WE LOVE: Supplementary (Crisps, History of) So who invented them, and when? I don’t mean merely thinly sliced potatoes, deep fried as a garnish – bcz the answer to that is almost certain to be the French, probably during the amazing burst of necessary competitive creativity after the French Revolution, when a glut of good cooks lost their jobs in many an aristocratic household and had to place themselves – eventually worldwide – at the mercy of the rising bourgeousie, in the form of the newly invented Urban Restaurant Trade (no Robespierre, no eating out, fact fans). No, I mean, cheap and lovely crisps in packets, manufactured en masse via industrial deep fat friers (these essential machines invented when?) My mother claimed Smiths Crisps already existed during WW2, but when pressed on this – surely rationing would have limited wartime availability? – decided she was less sure, and started discussing the legendary little blue paper-twist of salt instead, which only disappeared in the late 60s. (Yes yes I could google this and so could you, but I feel the UNINFORMED PRIOR discussion that emerges DURING the shared consumption of the item in question has a “truth” that actual real researched facts may miss ahem)