Spread (food)

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NCI butter.jpg
Butter is commonly sold in bars (pictured) or small blocks, and often served using a butter knife

A spread is a food that is literally spread, generally with a knife, onto bread, crackers, or other food products. Spreads are added to food to provide flavor and texture, and are an integral part of the dish, i.e., they should be distinguished from condiments, which are optional additions. Spreads should also be distinguished from dips, which generally are not applied to food via a knife or similar utensil, such as salsa.

Common spreads include dairy spreads (e.g., cheeses, creams, and butters; though the term butter is broadly applied to many spreads), plant spreads (e.g., jams, jellies, peanut butter, hummus and baba ghanoush), margarines, yeast spreads (e.g., Vegemite and Marmite) and meat spreads (e.g. pâté, fleischbutter, cretons).

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