In charcuterie-adjacent developments, butter boards are the new hip appetizer you’ll be seeing (and tasting) everywhere this season. At least, according to TikTok, that is. Internet foodies are spreading slabs of butter on graze boards and adding fruits, herbs, jams, and even hot honey. Low-key, it kind of looks... deliciously amazing? I guess Julia Child was right; there really is no such thing as too much butter.
The social media boom on the subject apparently all started when TikToker and recipe developer Justine Doiron (@justine_snacks) posted a butter board tutorial on her page on Sept. 16. “Have you heard of a butter board?” Doiron asks in the video. “This is what one looks like, and I want to make them the next charcuterie board.”
So, what is a butter board?
In Doiron’s video, she demonstrates how and what exactly goes on a butter board. In her case, she uses salt, lots of lemon zest, herbs, sliced onion, edible petals, and tops it all off with a drizzle of honey. For her vehicle, she’s chosen a loaf of seeded bread.
Doiron may be the face of butter boards (her TikTok has over 7.6 million views), but cookbook author Josh McFadden is the food genius behind this grazing phenomenon. Doiron credits his cookbook Six Seasons while pointing out that the purpose of McFadden's butter board recipes is to make snacking and appetizers a more communal experience.
In an interview with Today Food, McFadden says butter boards are both aesthetically pleasing and interactive. "Everyone loves butter," he told the outlet. "I think it's super cool. It's something I've been doing forever, so it's nice getting noticed that way."
The butter board concept may be new to social media, but McFadden has been creating butter boards for nearly a decade. The idea was inspired by his farm-to-table dinners at Berny Farm in Springdale, Oregon.
"We would do what we call 'breads and spreads' and put them on the table," McFadden explained. "That was always one of the best things: to have a really amazing cultured butter. Typically we were on farms, so we'd be able to pull in all these different little herbs and little special things that are hard to find."
How do you make a butter board?
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with butter and, you know, anything. You’re only limited by your imagination! As far as essentials go, you’ll need:
- A wooden cheese board or other solid/sanitary surface for your creation
- A high-quality butter spread
- An assortment of toppings
- Your choice of dippers
- An appetite for communal butter
Of course, sometimes the easiest way to learn to do something is to see how other people have mastered it. Fortunately, people on the internet are wasting no time jumping on the #butterboard trend. New York TikToker @erekasfood gave her butter board a Big City makeover, opting for cream cheese over butter. She topped it off with lox, capers, scallions, shaved red onions, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning with grilled buttered bagels for dipping.
Meanwhile, TikToker @mamainthekitchen kept her butter board sweet and simple. She sprinkled cinnamon sugar and crushed walnuts and topped it off with honey.
Cookbook author, blogger, and executive chef MacKenzie Smith (@grilledcheesesocial) went for a fall-themed butter board, topping the spread with maple-bacon roasted onion jam, roasted garlic cloves, chopped up candied almonds, crispy fried rosemary, and, for aesthetics, dried flowers.
I guess the only question that remains is, can you pass the bread?