Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cran-tastic Cranberries

If you’re like most people, you hear the word “cranberry”, and you think “Thanksgiving”! But here at Figi’s, some of us have discovered that cranberries are good in many different forms for all kinds of occasions. We attended the annual Cranberry Festival in Warrens, WI this year for the first time – it’s the largest cranberry festival in the world!

The festival is held in Wisconsin with good reason. Wisconsin grows more cranberries than any other state and produces half of the world’s cranberry supply. And they’re delicious! We sampled cranberry cakes, pies, ice cream, dried cranberries

dipped in chocolate, and enjoyed the aroma of candles made with cranberry. We did not, however, find even a hint of the traditional cranberry sauce!

We learned some interesting facts about cranberries, too! They are one of only three commercially produced fruits that are native to North America, along with blueberries and concord grapes. (Of course, this assumes that you think of pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes as vegetables.)

Cranberries are an incredibly nutritious snack, they contain antioxidants that are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and more, plus they are reputed to help prevent ulcers. They also contain hippuric acid which has antibacterial effects. With that in mind, the next time you reach for the chips, why

not replace them with Figi’s healthy and delightful Low Sodium Cranberry CollectionCranberry Nut Mix, or Cranberry Cheddar?

Figi’s loves to provide tasty cranberry treats to our customers, especially since they are grown just down the road! One of the most beautiful sights in the Wisconsin countryside is the cranberry bog… all those brilliant berries floating in a pool with the lush countryside as a backdrop. These views lead people to believe that cranberries grow in water, but that’s not true. The fact is that cranberry bogs are flooded with water to make them easy to harvest. The berries float to the surface after the fruit is “beaten” off the vine with a harvester. Then it’s scooped up and sent off to become juice or sauce. For fresh cranberries, a picking machine “combs” the fruit from the vines, no water needed. (To learn more, see http://www.wiscran.org/). These berries are available in the produce section at your grocery store for baking and making sauces, salads, and desserts.

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The Cheese Buying Guide

If you’re an aspiring cheese connoisseur, it can be fun to find to out which cheese you might like best.  But it can also be a little overwhelming looking at all of the different varieties of cheese gifts on Figis.com.  How do you know which kind you will like?  Let us help with a basic Cheese Buying Guide.

Cheddar: Everyone’s favorite go-to cheese.  Cheddar has a rich, nutty flavor that become more crumbly with age.  Cheddar pairs well with apples, pears, onions and cream based soups as well as red wines, pales ales or stout beers.

Figi's Classic Aged & Apple Pie Cheddar

Colby: First produced right here in Central Wisconsin, Colby has a similar flavor to young cheddar, but has a softer texture.  It makes an excellent slicing cheese and wonderful addition to roast beef, ham or turkey sandwiches.

Figi's Wisconsin Colby

Gouda: This very recognizable cellophane (or wax) covered cheese has a rich, buttery and sweet flavor that becomes more complex over time.  It has a very soft and creamy texture.  Gouda pairs well with whole or wheat breads, poultry, vegetables and dried fruits as well as white wines such as Chardonnay or Riesling.

Figi's Gouda

Swiss:  This full-flavored aged cheese has both a buttery and nutty taste.  It pairs well with fruits such as apples, pears and grapes.  Swiss is also a wonderful addition to casseroles, baked potatoes and fondues.

Figi's Buttery Baby Swiss

The best advice we can give you if you’re not sure which cheese you like is to sample many different kinds.  If you want to sample the basics, try the Figi’s Natural Cheese 4-Pack.  If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Figi’s Artisan Cheese Sampler.

Remember, you’ll never know if you like it until you try it!

For more information about the many different varieties of cheese, visit the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Boards’ Cheese 101.

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Filed under Figi's, Gift Giving

Tips for Tailgating Pro

Tailgate Level: Pro

We’ve learned a thing or two about how to throw a professional tailgate party at Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste. If you’re looking for ways to spice up your pre-game ritual, we’re here to teach you what you need to know with 3 simple rules.

Rule #1: Excite the Crowd

Part of your job as tailgating host is to get your team’s fans in the right mindset for the action. This can mean bringing music, games and drinks to get the party started, but the most important part is, of course, the food.

You’ll want to serve something that’s easy to make, will keep everyone’s energy up even in the cold, and won’t settle like a brick in your stomach. This brings us to Rule #2.

Rule #2: Food in Hand

Remember, you’re not organizing a mobile 5 course meal here. The food just needs to be hot, quick, and delicious – forget the fancy fixin’s so everyone can focus on the game. Handheld and finger foods, wraps, burgers and simple sides are going to be your staples for quality fan fodder before the main event. Here are some simple game time recipes that will really take your tailgate to the next level.

 

Photo Credit to Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste

Brats

An absolute essential for game time fare, bratwursts and sauerkraut come off the grill perfectly plumped and ready to eat. Opt for a better brat with unique Wild Game blends or try a collection of authentic German Fest sausages paired with smoked applewood bacon kraut!

 

 

Burgers & Sliders

Probably the oldest tradition in tailgating history involves grilling the perfect game time burger. The very best burgers are handmade, juicy patties prepared the night before the big game – doing so helps the flavors mesh together and takes the work out of Sunday morning. If you’re looking to put a new spin on the classic patty, try your hand at a pork and beef blend, or better still, grill up bite sized Wild Game Steak Sliders. With a bit of blue cheese or aged Wisconsin Cheddar, you’ll have a quick meal that will bring out the animal in everyone.

Skewers

Another great addition to your menu on game day, skewers provide a simple way to feed your crowd without much hassle. You can get creative with your ingredients here to really get into the game; if your team is playing the Bills, add chunks of buffalo steak to your sticks! Prep your skewers before the game so all you have to do is light up the grill and roast up some flavor. If you’re planning to use wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in salt water before putting them on the grill so they don’t burn through.

Rule #3: Bring it all Together

Now that you have the essentials, consider what else might help bring it all together. Chicken & wings are a great alternative to red meat if you have any particular eaters, and a simple electric deep fryer can handle most of your heavy lifting – even appetizers like mozzarella sticks, cheese curds and jalapeno poppers!

Still need more ideas? Stop by Figis.com and take a look through our unique gifts for men for more great game day treats, or build a gift basket for your favorite fan that’s packed with snacks for the next home game. Even if your team loses, we’ll make sure the tailgate will be one to remember!

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Filed under Figi's, Traditions