FACT FOOD #122

In 1814 during the post Napoleonic occupation of Paris by the victorious troops of Czar Alexander I, certain sections of Paris were restricted to the Russian soldiers – but sometimes the soldiers disobeyed orders and went into a tavern and demanded fast service so that the patrols would not catch them. This act gave a word for such an French establishment – ‘bistro’ from the Russian word ‘bystra‘ for speed or quickly.