Remember “freedom fries”? In 2003, in response to France’s opposition to U.S. plans to invade Iraq, Republican lawmaker Bob Ney introduced “freedom fries” in place of French fries on menus in three Congressional cafeterias. A few years later, with support for the Iraq War dwindling and Ney’s resignation as chairman of the Committee on House Administration, “freedom fries” were quietly removed from menus.
Political euphemisms are far from dead, however, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has possibly endorsed one initiative that already enjoys some popularity in Crimea: renaming Americano coffee as “Rusiano coffee.”
At a meeting on Wednesday with the prime ministers of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Medvedev thanked his Belarusian colleague for working “exceptionally constructively.” When the Belarusian prime minister said that he owed his efficiency to a certain “eastern coffee,” Medvedev shot back, “He says, ‘Give me an Americano.’ The whole thing sounds politically incorrect to me!’’
Russia’s prime minister then suggested to his audience that Americano coffee should be renamed “Rusiano coffee.” The RIA Novosti news agency described Medvedev’s remarks as a “joke,” though several other national news outlets have not suggested that the prime minister was kidding.
In 2014, following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, several cafes on the peninsula changed their menus to read “Russiano” and “Crimean,” in place of Americano coffee.