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Articles by H. Claire Brown

H. Claire Brown is a journalist who lives in New York.

Featured Article

For the past year and a half, you may have heard a lot about butter. It started with a viral video of influencer chef Justine Doiron carefully slathering two sticks of butter directly onto a wooden cheese board, seasoning the thick layer with flaky sea salt and lemon zest, arranging torn herbs and red onion across the surface, and finally finishing the dish with flower petals and a drizzle of honey. This was the butter board, a TikTok trend that quickly reached escape velocity and was featured by The New York Times, CNN, and the Today Show.

On high-end restaurant menus, the once-humble bread-and-butter course snowballed into $38 tableside “butter service,” and 14-inch cylinders of creamy, imported carved-to-order butter earned prominent placement in restaurants’ open kitchens. By early March, New York Magazine could declare that “butter has become the main character.”

A butter charcuterie board with fresh herbs. Getty Images

What accounts for butter’s spectacular renaissance in American cuisine? According to the U.S. dairy... Read more