Three things to serve with your summer cheese board

Serving a cheese board is a lovely way to entertain. We’ve got three products to change things up for you.

Chili sauce from Me’s Way

If your cheese board could use a hit of spice, you’ll want to consider adding Me’s Way chili sauce, from first-generation Vietnamese American Chau Tonnu of Seattle. “Me” means “mother” in Vietnamese, and this is Tonnu’s mother’s recipe, unique to Huế, Vietnam, and passed down through three generations of their family. The sauce traditionally is used to spice up dishes like beef noodle soup, but a small dish should find a home on your cheese board, as well. We say a small dish, because this sauce is full of bits of dried red peppers and definitely packs a lot of heat. There are only four ingredients, and every one of them contributes to the addictive combination of the salty, savory and slightly sweet flavors. We couldn’t resist adding another tiny bit to a cracker, or spreading just a hint on a morsel of mild cheese. It also is available made with fish sauce, or in a vegan version.

$25.95 per regular 8-ounce jar. $28.95 per vegan 8-ounce jar. Shipping is free. Available at

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Sungak crackers from Persian Basket

Arezoo Armaghan created Persian Basket to make it easy for all of us to find the foods she grew up with in Iran. Her online market is filled with hundreds of intriguing products. We could browse and fill our shopping cart for hours. When asked what she’d recommend as a substitute for those boring crackers on most cheese boards, Armaghan suggested barbari naan or Sungak crackers. We had a hard time choosing between the two, but the crackers won, because we loved the light, crunchy texture and the combination of five different seeds — pepita, sunflower, flax and black and white sesame. The label on the package says, “We are not responsible for your addiction to this product,” and it’s a fair warning, because we found that everyone who tried these crackers could not stop saying, “Oh, just one more.” They tick all the boxes: baked, vegan, kosher and delicious. You might find they’re more popular than the cheese on your cheese board!

$11.07 per 7.2-ounce container. Available at

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Alcohol-removed sparkling rosé from Sovi

Maybe you expect to serve wine with your cheese board, but not everyone at your table is interested in having a drink with alcohol. Or, perhaps you’re entertaining people who love wine, but, on this day, they want something alcohol-free. Julia and Alex Littauer of San Francisco, California-based Sovi have created the solution. They work with a family-owned winery in Clarksburg, California, distilling their wine to remove the alcohol, adding a little grape juice concentrate to enhance the flavor, and adding bubbles before putting the wine into cans. The result is a beautiful sparkling beverage, bubbly but dry, with the nose and color of a rosé, but less than half a percent of alcohol by volume and only 25 calories per can. It drinks so much like a regular rosé that some of our testers had to check the can in order to believe it was alcohol-removed wine.

$24 per pack of four 8.4-ounce cans. Available at

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