An admittedly very nice butter board, Photo: @justinesnacks.com
TikTok food trends tend to come and go as quickly as rain showers. They seem to fall in a flurry onto our collective imagination, prompting hundreds of videos recreating the original, and even more reacting to those videos. Most soon evaporate and leave little trace behind except some outdated videos clogging up your feed.
In today’s world, this cycle can take place over only a few days. Some of the big hitters like Gigi Hadid’s vodka pasta may linger a little longer, though nowhere near as long as food trends of yesteryear (toastie makers had the 00’s in a chokehold). So when a new trend hits our screen, it’s interesting to stop and think: will we remember it by this time next year?
Butter boards are in, big time. “What’s a butter board?” I hear you ask (or groan). Well, TikTokers have been working overtime on this one. It’s essentially a cheese board – without any of the good stuff of course. Simply spread a thick layer of creamy yellow butter all over a rustic-looking chopping board (or your flatmate’s if you don’t fancy the clean-up) and you’re halfway there!
Never mind that butter now costs more than a pint at Friendship and has gone up 22% in price at Sainsbury’s since you last checked. Never mind that you’re hungover and the thought of food makes you want to be sick. Let’s all make a butter board!
Now it would be unfair to suggest that a butter board is just that. It’s so much more. Sometimes the butter is smeared into flower petals, sometimes TikTokers add honey, mashed garlic, and a cheeky fig to the arrangement.
Admittedly, this all looks amazing and if you’ve got a family of butter fiends coming to stay, then this is all well and good. Butter boards, like any food, fashion or medium for expressing yourself, can just be a fun way to get creative with what you eat. If this is what food means to you, then I implore you to make a thousand butter boards! Make one for your friends, make one for your parents, your lecturer, your ‘FWB’, that flatmate you secretly fancy!
Just don’t expect them to actually eat it. Because the essential truth of the butter board is that butter, whilst excellent as part of a meal, is more of a supporting actor than the main star. More of a Watson than a Holmes, more of a Ringo than any other member of The Beatles. It just can’t carry the pressure of a board dedicated to it. Especially not if it’s only a bit of Nordpak you had lying around. No amount of crackers can change that you’ve really just covered some wood with butter. Leave it to cheese, leave it to fruit to carry a board. Leave the butter alone for now – and save it for a nice bit of toast in the morning.