The use of clichés to sell Quebec internationally!


The cliché. Sometimes it is reductive, sometimes simplistic and too often caricatured. When it comes to tourist or cultural identity, we hate it, because we find it devoid of charm and romance. However, there is little hesitation in using it to fine-tune another country’s image.

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In the media space it testifies at most to a misunderstanding of those who report it.

We remember autumn 2016. The magazine She publishes an article on Ricardo’s breakthrough in France. Ricardo was described there as a “gentleman trapper” who proceeded every year, in the maple trees, to the traditional sacrifices of the pig and then frozen it in the open air. The article full of clichés causes such an intense outcry that the journalist has to apologise.

We could also fill you with examples of French reporting on Montreal’s Great North, our sled dogs and the freezing cold that make us so friendly.

How many times have we read a French article about Quebec with a heartfelt coronation? !

We are outraged every time by these tempting shortcuts.

A powerful tool

However, let’s face it, the cliché, however hated, is a powerful tool for promoting a city or a country. Every week we find images of the Olympic Stadium or the St. Lawrence River in the international press to illustrate Quebec. One of the most represented hotels in the world is the Château Frontenac. We have often tried to get away from these worn-out images, but we just can’t help it. This is our Eiffel Tower.

The image seems to maintain a familiar image with customers. When it is supportive, the cliché becomes a very powerful element of tourist and cultural promotion.

In terms of food, we are not immune to this phenomenon.

First some background. Quebec’s agribusiness is responsible for an average of 1.8% of all Quebec articles and reports around the world each week. Reports on Quebec’s food culture very often enjoy coverage that goes beyond simple paragraphs or news agency articles.

When an individual eats a routine in the world, there will most likely be a mention of Quebec not far away. The tastiest smoked meat is necessarily from Quebec. Who makes the best bagels? There’s a good chance you’ll be told that he’s a Montrealer, if of course he’s not a New York media guy.

If our wines and ciders have become one of Québec’s most cited products, it’s poutine that has seen the most meteoric growth. For 5 years it has seen its media weight grow by 18% in foreign media.

When we think of foreign cuisine, we easily associate Japanese with its sushi and Mexican with its guacamole. Didn’t the French baguette make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List this week?

These blows seem less heavy to carry than ours. All things considered, they are just as important. Can we be more cautious? Wouldn’t it be better to face our photos?

For a come out to eat

It might be time to do ours come out food and fully assume what constitutes our folklore. It is a key element of our identity. It is at the very least a very powerful sales tool.

We assume our clichés. They are present there. They are loud and sometimes rude. Even if we shudder to admit them, let us free ourselves from this discomfort! It doesn’t seem to bother other tourist capitals.

The dishes or foods that made Quebec shine the brightest in 2022

1) Maple syrup 17.11%

2) Cheese fries 13.32%

3) Cheeses 12.68%

4) Wines and ciders 12.59%

5) Beers 10.74%

6) bagel from Montreal 6.29%

7) Pig 4.73%

8) smoked meat 3.15%

9) Pudding unemployed person 2.88%

10) Lamb of Charlevoix 1.76%


  • Newspapers and web (45 identified countries)
  • Period from 1 January to 30 November 2022
  • Keywords: Montreal and Quebec, associated with different dishes and foods, in all languages ​​that use our alphabet

1) United States 47.81%

2) UK 9.85%

3) France 6.57%

4) Australia 4.74%

5) Mexico 4.01%

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