Food Trend: What Is a Butter Board?
The butter board is the latest trend to take the world of dinner parties and barbecues by storm. Where once it was charcuterie boards as far as the eye could see, butter boards have nudged those much-loved arrays of cold meats and breadsticks into second place. But what exactly is a butter board?
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What Is a Butter Board?
A butter board is fairly self-explanatory if you’re familiar with charcuterie boards. It involves spreading softened butter on a board and then topping it with, well, anything you like:
- lemon zest
- chili flakes
- even edible flowers!
Spread the mixture on the bread of your choice, or on anything else you fancy. You can even just run your bread through the butter.
One of the advantages of butter boards when it comes to entertaining is that they’re cheaper and quicker to organize than other types of sharing platters. With so many possible ingredients, they also look amazing.
Butter Board Trend: How Did It Start?
Although butter boards are the latest food trend that’s going viral on TikTok, they were first created by a chef. In his book Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, Joshua Mcfadden explains how he “used to do them for farm dinners where you'd have a bunch of different breads and spreads on the table".
For McFadden, butter boards were:
an opportunity to present butter and add fun, seasonal ingredients to it that made the butter more than the sum of its parts.
Food influencer Justine Doiron posted a TikTok video of herself making a butter board where she credited McFadden and said she wanted to make butter boards “the next charcuterie”. Her TikTok video went viral and the rest is history.
How To Eat a Butter Board
Butter boards are a great alternative to other sharing platters, and they’re easy to throw together. If you fancy trying your hand at a butter board for the next time you entertain, here are some tips to make it at home, or to eat it in your favourite restaurant:
- Think about the type of board you’re going to use. Most butter boards use wooden boards, but you can use slate or ceramic boards as well, which are easier to clean afterwards. You can place parchment paper under the butter if you want the rustic look that wood gives, but without the messy clean up.
- Get your butter out of the fridge in advance. The butter on your butter board needs to be soft in order to spread easily.
- One of the main hygiene issues with a butter board is lots of people dipping their bread into the butter, so make sure you leave out lots of knives for people to use instead.
- Pay attention to the presentation. Butter boards are supposed to look awesome. Swirl the butter with the back of the spoon and think about the colours and textures of the toppings as well as how they taste.
If you don’t fancy making your own butter board, they’re becoming
more popular on the sharing menus at restaurants, cafés and gastropubs:
some tasty occasions to get inspiration about butter board ideas!
As well as butter boards there are all kinds of options for appetisers and sharing platters, from the traditional charcuterie board to more adventurous options.
For example, Apero in London has an amazing sharing menu featuring delicious morsels like padrón peppers, chorizo, cauliflower and taleggio risotto, bavette steak or beetroot and leeks and black bomber quiche. Italian restaurants are a great option for sharing, with lots of antipasti to choose from.
Explore our suggestions of best tapas restaurants in London,
or try one of the trendy addresses often on the top of the last food trend!
A butter board is a wooden board spread with soft butter and sprinkled with toppings to add flavour. Toppings can include ground pepper, sea salt, lemon zest, spices, herbs, honey or edible flowers, or really anything you dream up!
Some people have suggested that serving butter on a wooden board can be unhygienic as the board could have cracks that harbour bacteria. But sharing the occasional butter board with friends is unlikely to be harmful to your health: be vigilant on the good hygiene of the board and set some rules before the digging in. Of course, though delicious, it remains a quite fatty appetiser.
Butter boards are usually served on wooden boards, but you can use ceramic or slate boards if you prefer. Some people use parchment under the butter to make cleaning up easier.
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