A spread is a food that is literally spread, generally with a knife, onto food products such as bread and crackers. Spreads are added to food in order to enhance the flavor or texture of the food, which may be considered bland without it. Spreads should be distinguished from dips, such as salsa, which are generally not applied to spread onto food but have food dipped into them instead. Peanut butter is a typical example of spread.
Common spreads include dairy spreads (such as cheeses, creams, and butters—although the term butter is broadly applied to many spreads), honey, plant-derived spreads (such as jams, jellies, and hummus), yeast spreads (such as vegemite and marmite), and meat-based spreads (such as pâté).