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Of Tapas and Apps

Tapas in Madrid

You might have noticed that I was in Spain last week. I love Spain! What’s not to love? Flamenco is like a window into a lost ritual enchantment of another time and place. Spain was home to artists such as Picasso, El Greco and Dali. There can be very little fault found in Spain and her culture.

One aspect of the Spanish culture I noticed is the Tapas. Every evening the restaurants and bars put out tasty morsels of eats. You can find and taste every type of cuisine from sliders to sushi, but more special for the traveller is the selection of uniquely Spanish cuisine to try.

What I found most interesting about the tapas, even more than the selection, was the pricing model. Except in the very high-end places, the range was 1-3 Euro per tapas. So basically it’s in place of the US fast-food culture, but instead of overly processed saturated foods, you have creative tasty morsels and works of culinary art. For a Euro. It’s insane really. LOOK AT THESE!

Rapeplaya fish in Barcelona market
Ok, well, the “Rapeplaya” looks somewhat unappetizing and wasn’t actually a tapas rather we spotted it in the market.

Tapas in Seville
Makes your mouth water! Right? But it’s affordable, and MUCH healthier than a Big Mac.

What struck me about this pricing model was how it’s an social equalizer. When friends go out, the less privileged amongst them does not have to be left out, or feel embarrassed because they can’t afford the expensive cuisine. It’s all affordable. Yet the more affluent can still go for the higher tiers.

This reminded me of the app store. Growing up I remember how expensive games and programs were. That was the pricing model of the times. Perhaps since computers weren’t as globally adopted as they are now, in order to support the business model, but I couldn’t afford anything back then. Perhaps that turned out alright, I spent my time coding in Logo, Basic and Pascal and playing with windows paint. All skills I heavily rely upon now as a Front-end Developer. But it didn’t feel fair back then.

When the app store launched news was made how off 99¢ per purchase one could make $10,000 in a day from virtual farts. This was the beginning of a great tradition of affordable software. And like the tapas culture. It means that now we all can taste new digital cuisine without the risk of burning holes in our pockets.


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