Fancy Butter Boards Soar As Butter Shortage Looms

Butter boards — the stepchild of charcuterie — have taken to new food-craze heights as some horrified safety and nutrition experts look on. Now, leading into the holidays, the boards are landing on tables as quick, inexpensive alternatives to the fancy meat-and-cheese boards we normally see. It’s puzzling, since a winter butter shortage has been predicted for the U.S. that could drive prices up and make it more difficult to find it in supermarkets. As registered dietician Laura Cipullo explained, “The idea of smearing something on a wood board with other food, sharing that with other people, and having them all dip into it is a bacteria haven.” It’s not just butter that’s run amok — bakeries are smearing buttercream frosting artfully on cake stands and sprinkling pieces of cookies, brownies, rainbow sprinkles, and other goodies for swiping. Aside from the threat of bacteria, the fatty nature of butter in general and its promotion of bad cholesterol has many nutritionists up in arms. Whether the trend will continue, in light of the predicted butter shortage, remains to be seen.