Spreads are semi-solid, spreadable condiments, usually added on top of an otherwise finished dish, to enhance flavour and add moisture or texture. Less fully explored in traditional European cuisine than sauces, spreads have become popular in recent decades for their long shelf life and ease of use. Some basic spreads, such as butter, have been in cookbooks for many millennia.
- Simple butter is made from milk, and consists almost entirely of milk fat and water. Most butter comes from cow milk; variants from goat's milk also exist.
- Fruit butters can be made from fruit preserves and sugar, without any milk products. A common American variety is apple butter.
- Meat butter or fleischbutter is a German specialty, made from a combination of ground meat, butter, and spices. The most common fleischbutter is made with ground pork; variants use beef, lamb, kidney, tripe, and other muscle and organ meats.
- Peanut butter can be made with nothing but peanuts and water; variants add sugar, milk, or other nuts. Peanut butter comes in both smooth and chunky varieties, depending on the fineness of the grinding process.
- Other spreads