“A butter board is the next charcuterie board trend,” wrote food blogger and recipe creator Justine Doiron on September 12. “Don’t quote me on it – but if it happens….then you can quote me on it.”
A few days later, she posted videos illustrating the concept on both TikTok and Instagram. A little over two weeks and 8.3 million TikTok views later, I’m quoting her on it. Butter boards are everywhere.
A butter board is softened butter spread out artfully on a wooden board and then covered in delicious things. Although Doiron can be seen dipping bread into the butter in her now viral video, in an appearance on Good Morning America this week, she said that this really isn’t how we should be serving it. It should be spread on bread with a knife—like, ya know, butter.
It is important to note that Doiron didn’t invent the butter board. She was quick to give credit in all of her content to its actual creator, chef Joshua McFadden, who included a recipe for a butter board in his 2017 book, Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables. Last week, McFadden took to Instagram to comment on the trend.
“Seems like the secret is out about butter boards!?!?!?!?!?” he captioned a photo of his own beautiful butter creations. He said the recipe, which is on page 99 of his book, has been “the way to start dinner for me for a number of years. With always changing flavors, textures, and opportunities.”
Since the butter board skyrocketed to viral fame a few weeks ago, the internet is awash with new takes on what can go atop the softened, artfully spread butter on a butter board.
A search for the hashtag #butterboard on Instagram and TikTok turns up thousands of posts. Toppings include edible flowers, figs and honey, garlic confit (all of which Doiron also shared on her GMA appearance), tomatoes, basil, pecans—the list goes on. Corporate chef and Instagrammer @mike_haracz even made a pumpkin spiced butter board.
People are also making butter boards using a different base, swapping out butter for things like cream cheese, goat cheese, and hummus. These are, by definition, not butter boards. But whatever.
On GMA, Doiron shared the following tips for butter board success:
• Don’t use butter that’s too hard or too soft. Take your butter out of the fridge 15-30 minutes before you want to spread it.
• Although the visually stunning butter boards invading the internet show the butter spread right onto the board, Doiron suggested using wax paper if you don’t want your board to get as messy.
• As mentioned above, although Doiron dipped bread in the butter in her initial video, she says we should actually be serving it with a knife, inviting people to take some from the board with the knife and then spread it onto their bread. That’s a fine idea, but then again, this appetizer is the ultimate in joie de vivre, so I say if you want to dip right into the butter, go for it. Live your best life.
Only time will tell if the butter boards adorning our social media feeds will actually start surfacing at dinner parties, receptions, and holiday festivities with any regularity.
Either way, plenty of media explorations of the topic have declared butter boards “the new charcuterie board,” implying that they’ll replace charcuterie boards on some level, which I am personally not here for. There’s room on my table for butter on one board and meats, cheeses, and nuts on another. I’ll eat my butter and have my salami river too, thank you very much.