Butter boards give way to hummus, whipped cheese and dessert boards: 'Evolved into its own'

Butter boards, the latest viral food trend, have captured the imaginations of social media foodies. But for those who don’t find large globs of butter appetizing, other spreadable dips can be used to the same effect.

On visual platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, content creators have put their own twists on the trend by turning to hummus, cheese dips and dessert spreads.

Christine Pittman, an Orlando-based food blogger who runs COOKtheSTORY and The Cookful, two recipe-sharing websites, said finding the origin of butter boards or another dip board trend is tough.

"The question of origin is tricky because it's not clear if we're asking about the concept or if we are asking about the name," Pittman told Fox News Digital.

"What we know is that butter service has been part of fine dining for a long time, with restaurants often presenting flavored butter alongside artisan slices of bread and crackers," Pittman continued. 

"The difference between the new butter board trend and that kind of butter service is that the butter is spread all across a board and then toppings are added," she said, "as opposed to the more traditional presentation of the butter being in some kind of bowl, or ingredients being segmented across the board, like on a cheese plate."

It's possible that home cooks and restaurants, said Pittman, may have been creating and serving boards with various dips and spreads with toppings for years with a "tapas concept."

Tapas — a word and dining concept of Spanish origin — are typically appetizers or snacks that are served alongside drinks before an entrée, according to the Collins English Dictionary.

With the popularity of butter boards on social media, Pittman said it’s possible that people are experimenting with layered ingredients on wooden serveware, since it appears that sharing recipes with the word "board" in the name gets attention online.

"For instance, I have a recipe on COOKtheSTORY from January 2022, before the butter board or hummus board trend hit TikTok," Pittman said.

"It's a creamy feta mixture spread onto a cutting board and then topped with delicious Greek ingredients like oregano, garlic, roasted peppers and olives," she explained. 

"Back then I called that recipe ‘Whipped Feta 7-Layer Dip.’ Recently, I have changed the name to ‘Whipped Feta Board’ because it clearly fits the new trend, and I think the new name will help people to find it and to be inspired by it."

Various board-based dishes and recipes have seemingly gone viral in the wake of the butter board trend.

On TikTok, videos linked to the #butterboard hashtag have racked up more than 264 million views combined, while the more traditional charcuterie #cheeseboard hashtag has more than 443.5 million views.

The #dessertboard hashtag has more than 18.1 million views, which is nearly 14 times the amount the #hummusboard hashtag has, which is at 1.3 million, at the time of publication.

Examples of spread-based board recipes that have gone viral recently include cream and cottage cheese boards, cheese and jam boards, hazelnut boards (AKA Nutella boards), peanut butter boards and buttercream boards.

Social media interest in butter boards has risen in recent weeks thanks to Brooklyn-based cook and food content creator Justine Doiron, who shared her butter board tutorial video on Sept. 15, with credit to cookbook author Justin McFadden.

McFadden included a butter board recipe in his 2017 cookbook, "Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables."

Fox News Digital reached out to Doiron and McFadden for comment.

Pittman noted that butter boards and other board spreads may have existed before the 21st century.

"Similarly, there's an Italian party dinner dish that translates, I believe, as ‘Polenta on a Pastry Board,’" Pittman said. 

"It has a similar concept: a base spread onto a board and then toppings are added," Pittman continued. 

"But it doesn't seem as though it has turned into a larger viral trend." 

Understanding the origin of any dish is difficult, Pittman told Fox News Digital. 

"In this case, it seems like something that restaurants and home cooks from many cultures have been doing in similar ways for years has come together into one focused concept," Pittman said. 

"And it has excited people and has evolved into its own distinct thing."