What is a butter board? How to master the food trend that could replace charcuterie

The Danes have a word for butter spread so thick that every bite leaves tooth marks:


(tooth butter). Butter boards, the latest TikTok food trend, swap the bread for a cutting board but spread the butter just as thick as a Danish smørrebrød.

Brooklyn-based recipe developer and food stylist Justine Doiron released a Butterboard guide on September 15, sparking the viral moment. With 173.4 million views and counting, the #Butterboard sweeps TikTok.

“I was surprised from day one,” Doiron says in an interview with the National Post. “When I first made the video, I just wanted to share a recipe I love from one of my favorite cookbooks.”

The book in question is the 2017 debut of Portland, Oregon-based author, chef, and restaurateur Joshua McFadden.

Six Seasons

. The recipe that started it all, deliberately reading like a guide, is his “herbal” butter with warm bread.

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Six Seasons

McFadden recommends seasoning the butter base with flaky salt, pepper, and chilli flakes, then topping it with greens, herbs, grated citrus zest, and chopped cucumber or capers.

In Doiron’s viral version, which has been viewed more than eight million times, she sprinkles flaky salt, lemon zest, edible flowers, fresh herbs, ground coriander and cardamom on top before drizzles over honey and spreads warm bread on top.

As with other flavors of snack boards – be it sausage or cheese – you don’t need a recipe to build a butter board. Start with softened butter on a cutting board or plate, season with salt and layer with your choice of toppings. (Doiron thinks flaky salt and citrus zest are essential; the rest is up to you.)

When she comes up with flavor combinations, she thinks of her “dream bread and butter recipe” — like honey, figs and roasted sage, or a “deconstructed garlic bread” with garlic confit and chilli oil — and makes it on a larger scale.

To make cleanup easier, Doiron recommends placing a sheet of wax paper on the cutting board before applying the butter. And although in her video she pulls a piece of warm bread right through the butter, you can serve the board with knives (like a cheese board).

Doiron attributes the butter board’s appeal to how customizable it is. And while she’s “thrilled” with how it’s taken off, the role of viral content creator is unfamiliar.

“This is the first trend I’ve ever ‘created’, but I see a lot of accounts that are very trending. And that’s great and it’s really fun, and it’s really fun to take ideas and adapt things,” says Doiron. “I was never trend-oriented. So it’s a whole new world for me in terms of creating a trend.”

TikTokers have taken the concept in new directions, swapping out butter for Labneh in a Mediterranean version, or sweetened yogurt for an Indian chaat board.

Inspired by Doiron and McFadden, Toronto food blogger Snejana Andreeva has created several butter board recipes and has more sweet and savory iterations in the works.

“I was absolutely blown away because I felt like I had reinvented the wheel. It was something new, something different, something fun. A divisible and a board that can be made in many different ways — not just with butter,” says Andreeva.

She topped her first buttered board with fresh figs, walnuts, and hot honey, then made two more with creamy cheese as a base (Greek salad on feta and goat’s cheese). Andreeva is also a fan of charcuterie and thought about making a combination board: part butter, part charcuterie, part something else.

“I don’t want to decide,” says Andreeva, laughing. “I love all boards.”

Doiron doesn’t feel the need to play favorites either. A butter board offers individual design options and plenty of room for creativity, but also a spread with cured meat and cheese. With different textures, tastes, presentations and ingredients, snack boards are not an either/or scenario.

“I don’t think this is the next charcuterie board,” says Doiron. “Both can coexist peacefully because they both offer something different.”

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2022

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