HIDDEN F&B: Nora Granger, co-founder Counter Cheese Caves

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By Helen Mitternight

Nora Granger and her husband, Eric Casella, met at a cheese shop in New York and brought their love of cheeses to Charleston. The two sell American cheeses (mostly from the Southeast) to restaurants and to a few lucky customers. Granger loves cheese, but that doesn’t mean she’s only got high-falutin’ curds in her refrigerator. She’s partial to good old American slices, too.

Nora’s take:

Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: A friend gave us a Le Creuset pot. It’s amazing!

In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Cheese, of course. But it might even be American slices... we do not discriminate. We have low-brow and high-brow and we have cravings for Tostito’s white queso dip. Also anchovies. And half and half. I like my coffee half half-and-half and half coffee.

In My Pantry (3 Things): Tortilla chips, San Marzano tomatoes, seltzer.

Favorite After-work Hangout: Tattooed Moose on Morrison.

Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: Trattoria Luca. Comfort Food: We like cooking Thai food, a good curry. Also black beans and rice.

Favorite Smell: There’s this smell in creameries or cheese-making. It’s super-fresh milk, a warm cooked milk smell.

Favorite Drink: Beer.

Number of Hours You Work a Week: It’s hard to count when you own your own business. I’m living the cheese life all the time.

Customer Pet Peeve: The most obtuse thing I’ve heard people say at a farmers market is, “I don’t eat mold.” Cheese is mold, people! That’s what it is!

Most Under-rated Ingredient: Anchovies. It’s a polarizing ingredient, but it adds the most flavor ever. So much umami!

Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: Seviche. We have so much great seafood here!

Check out the website for more on where you can find the cheese. Want more Nora, including why there’s a giant portrait of a goat in her office? Check out the companion podcast here!