In the olden days, before fuel injection became popular, if you wanted to start your cold engine properly you depressed the gas pedal to the floor once then released it. This would jet a little gas into the engine and set the choke. You then turned the ignition and the engine came to life at a fast idle.
So you see this has been going on forever. The only difference nowadays with fuel injection is that the computer sets everything up for fast idle on a cold start and you no longer need to depress the accelerator to the floor anymore. A proper cold engine start will start with a fast idle, if it doesn't something is not working properly.