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Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social JusticeFrom Loncheras to Lobsta Love$
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Julian Agyeman, Caitlin Matthews, and Hannah Sobel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036573

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036573.001.0001

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Breach, Bridgehead, or Trojan Horse? An Exploration of the Role of Food Trucks in Montreal’s Changing Foodscape

Breach, Bridgehead, or Trojan Horse? An Exploration of the Role of Food Trucks in Montreal’s Changing Foodscape

Chapter:
(p.225) 12 Breach, Bridgehead, or Trojan Horse? An Exploration of the Role of Food Trucks in Montreal’s Changing Foodscape
Source:
Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice
Author(s):

Alan Nash

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036573.003.0012

After a seventy-year ban, the Canadian city of Montreal began a pilot program in 2013 that permitted a limited number of food trucks back onto its streets. Such an experiment offers opportunities to re-evaluate the “traditional view” that food trucks are part of an informal economy in which new arrivals to a city can create jobs for themselves, and the contrary positions that newer “foodie” food trucks have either opened a “breach” with that informal economy by catering only to the more affluent, or offer instead a “bridgehead” by bringing newer cuisines to the street where everyone can experience them. This paper explores the merits of these viewpoints through analysis of the long-running debate over Montreal’s ban on food trucks; the pilot program’s regulations permitting such trucks back into the city; a survey of the goals of the trucks’ operators; and, fourthly, an analysis of customer reviews on the social media site Yelp. This evaluation concludes that Montreal’s food truck experiment should not be interpreted as either a “breach” or a “bridgehead” – rather, it represents the use of food trucks as a pawn (or “Trojan horse”), in a much larger strategy by city planners to promote Montreal through “place branding”.

Keywords:   Montreal, food trucks, gastronomic landscape, hospitable city, place branding, social media, Yelp

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