Carolina Ricarte: “I think that education and good values is the key to make the world a better place.”

Carolina Ricarte is a designer that moved from Azeitão, in Portugal, to Barcelona, Spain. One of the main reasons for her to change country was related with the freedom that Barcelona has and offer in terms of work. Being honest is one her biggest personality traits and education is one of the most important subjects for us, the thing Carolina considers that sets us apart as human beings.

1 – How old were you when you moved to Barcelona? What was the main reason to move?

I was 27 years old and I felt that my happy place was Barcelona. It was where I felt I belonged and could be myself.

2 – What kind of cultural characteristics have you absorbed from Spain?

I would say the street culture. Spanish people love to be outside, no matter what weather conditions or hours of the day. So now it’s normal for me to have a beer with friends at an outside bar terrace on a cold winter night or in a hot summer day.

3 – Do you think your origins have influenced people around you? 

In my case I think I influenced more with my behaviours. When I asked this to my closest friends they said that would describe me as peaceful and welcoming person. It’s exactly how I would describe Portuguese people in general.

4 – What are the biggest challenges of living in a foreign country?

Finding the right apartment is definitely a big challenge. In some cases the language is a big challenge too, on my case it wasn’t as Portuguese is very similar to Spanish but I think that learning a bit more than the basics it’s necessary to really experience a country and their people.

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5 – Name the most positive aspects of Barcelona.

The multicultural environment, people are very friendly and outgoing and public transport is amazing in Barcelona.

6 – During this time in a foreign country what have you learned about the human being? What sets us apart from each other?

I’ve learned that despite all human beings having more or less the same hopes and dreams what sets up apart is Education, not just academic but also the way your parents or family values are transmitted. I think that education and good values is the key to make the world a better place.

7 – What is missing in your home country that your current one has and vice versa?

Maybe because Spain it’s a bigger country than Portugal it feels more open and culturally exposed. It’s a place where you can see and experience all kinds of art, music, fashion and people from all corners of the world. I think Portugal has that too but in a smaller scale and not so easy to access.

8 – Is there a favourite spanish dish you prefer?

Fideuá. Is like paella but made with thin noodles instead of rice.

9 – Which stereotype doesn’t make sense about Spain?

That Spanish people are all bullfighting fans, dance Flamenco and only drink sangria. This is not true at all, Spain is actually a very rich cultural place where you can experience a totally different language/food/music/traditions in every region you step in.

10 – What were your biggest fears before you moved? 

My biggest fear was not being able to settle in and having to move back to Portugal.

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11 – From the legal point of view, was the social framework easy? Do you have any advice for someone moving in?

At the time that I moved to Barcelona it was very easy to get your paperwork in order, especially as a EU citizen, now it’s much harder and expensive…My advice is to try and find as much information as you can before you do any paperwork. Keep in mind it’s always a difficult process but hang in there!

12 – What are the greatest labor differences between Portugal and Spain?

Despite still not being even close to the north of Europe standards the salaries and work conditions are a bit better than in Portugal.

13 – What is your favourite city spot in Barcelona?

My favourite spot in the city is Barceloneta, where’s the city coast line and I love to go on the weekends just to catch some sun or see the ocean. It’s also my first neighbourhood and it brings me great memories.

14 – Where do you feel “at home” in Barcelona? Is there a specific place?

I love the city skyline and the little rooftops all together, so any place with the city view feels like home to me.

15 – Do you have a favourite restaurant in Barcelona?

I have many, but if I have to recommend one is definitely El Viti, They have some good tapas and the place is really nice and cosy.

16 – What is it for you to be real? / What defines you as a person?

To be real is someone that is not afraid to show its personality, believes and values. Regarding what I think that defines me, I would say that I am a friendly/outgoing person with a big sense of responsibility.

Hometown:

Azeitão, Portugal

 

Currently Living:

Barcelona, Spain

RECIPE

Portuguese Big Egg Tart – Big Pastel de Nata

INGREDIENTS:

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry

150 gr sugar

50 gr cornflour

½ L (500 ml) milk

4 egg yolks

1 or 2 lemon peel

1 cinnamon stick

Instructions:

STEP 1

Layout the puff pastry in a tart baking mold with baking paper underneath and Preheat the oven at 200 ºC

STEP 2
In a small saucepan add the milk, the cornflour, the sugar, the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick. (it’s easier if you separate a bit of the milk and mix the cornflour first and then added to the rest of the milk so you don’t get any lumps)

STEP 3
Heat up the pan in a medium heat always stirring the milk so it doesn’t stick to the bottom or gets lumps.

STEP 4
When it becomes creamy take it of of the heat, remove the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick.

STEP 5
Separate the egg yolks, whisked them and add them to the cream stirring it quickly so the egg yolks mix completely.

STEP 6
Fill the pastry with the cream and bake for aprox. 20-30 min. in 200ºC with upper and lower heating mode. (I recommend putting the mold closer to the bottom of the oven as the base takes longer to cook but the cream doesn’t need so long to get ready.)

STEP 7
Take it out of the oven when the cream is golden and has some brown spots. Enjoy!

Name of the recipe:

Portuguese Big Egg Tart – Big Pastel de Nata

 

Country of origin:

Portugal

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