December 10, 2023

Festive dairy trends: A holiday exploration

Butter boards have emerged as a popular trend for parties and gatherings.

As the holiday season approaches, I’d like to share the latest dairy trends that will delight taste buds during the upcoming festive celebrations. From comforting dairy-infused beverages to tasty traditional treats and enticing butter boards, these delicious trends take center stage on holiday tables.

Classic to Creative Dairy Beverages

As temperatures drop and the holiday spirit soars, dairy-based beverages take the spotlight as comforting indulgences. From the classic warmth of hot chocolate and rich eggnog to creatively spiced lattes and artisanal milkshakes, the versatility of dairy knows no bounds. Dairy is the perfect foundation for festive beverages. It not only brings a rich and creamy texture but also complements the warmth of seasonal spices, creating savory sips that capture the essence of the holidays.

Baking Traditions

Dairy ingredients play a significant role in holiday baking traditions, contributing to the richness, flavor and texture of a wide variety of festive fare. From rich buttery cookies and flaky pies to indulgent cream-filled pastries, the versatility of dairy ingredients make them a kitchen staple, especially during the holidays. Dairy baking techniques handed down through generations bring a sense of tradition to holiday recipes. The quality and richness of dairy make these treats truly special.

Enticing Butter Boards

Adding to the holiday festivities, butter boards have emerged as a popular trend for parties and gatherings. These creative boards display an array of artisanal butters thoughtfully paired with flavored salts, honey and jams, providing a delightful way to savor different flavors while enhancing the overall visual appeal of the spread. The build-it-yourself boards provide a unique tasting experience and add an interactive element for party guests to enjoy.

Dairy Fills Nutrition Gaps

Beyond the flavor, richness and texture they add to recipes, dairy foods fill in nutritional gaps in meals. Dairy foods are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins that contribute to bone health, muscle strength and overall well-being. Dairy is not just a treat for taste buds; it’s a nourishing addition to seasonal meals, providing nutrients that support our health.

Enticing Butter Board

Elevate your gatherings with this delightful centerpiece, where your guests can savor the richness of artisanal butters alongside a symphony of flavors. Perfect for holiday festivities or any special occasion!

Ingredient Suggestions

Artisanal Butters:

Salted butter

Unsalted butter

Cultured butter

Herb-infused butter (e.g., garlic herb or rosemary)

Condiments and Accompaniments:

Flavored salts (e.g., sea salt infused with herbs or spices)

Honey (preferably in small bowls or jars)

A variety of fruit jams (apricot, raspberry, fig, etc.)

Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, chives)

Assortment of bread slices (baguette, sourdough, rye)

A selection of crackers and breadsticks

Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)

Sliced fruits (figs, apples, pears)


A large wooden board or platter


Select Your Butters: Arrange a selection of artisanal butters on your board. Place them in small, attractive dishes or shape them into decorative forms if desired.

Flavored Salts: Sprinkle flavored salts generously over the butter varieties to enhance their flavors. Use sea salt infused with herbs or spices, such as rosemary-infused sea salt or smoked paprika salt.

Honey and Jams: Set out small bowls or jars of honey and a variety of fruit jams. These will provide a delightful contrast to the richness of the butter. Ensure you have a spoon for easy serving.

Fresh Herbs: Scatter fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or chives across the board. These not only add color but also infuse the air with a burst of fragrance.

Breads and Crackers: Arrange an assortment of bread slices, crackers and breadsticks around the board. These act as perfect carriers for the butter and condiments. You can also warm the bread for a delightful touch.

Nuts and Fruits: Incorporate nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans. Place them strategically for added textures and flavors. Slice fruits like figs, apples and pears and arrange them attractively on the board.

Presentation: Assemble all the ingredients on your chosen wooden board. Get creative with your arrangement, making sure it is visually appealing and accessible to your guests. Provide small butter knives and utensils for spreading the butter and jams.

Enjoy: Dive into the delightful world of flavors and textures. Experiment with different combinations, and let your guests savor this unique and interactive dining experience.

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman is a senior educator and registered dietitian with the St Louis District Dairy Council. For more information on the health benefits of dairy, visit