Monthly Archives: January 2014

Super Bowl Poll Results & New Polls

Back in September 2013, we published a blog called Figi’s Top 10 Football Finger Foods part 1 where we highlighted some great football party snacks from Figi’s.  We followed that up with Part 2 in December 2013. Those blog ideas would certainly apply to a Super Bowl party as well…and the ‘big game’ is just one week away!  There are so many great story lines with Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman…and, of course,  the weather!

You may recall we asked a poll question in Part 2: “Who Will Win the Super Bowl This Season?” Here are the poll results: a dead heat between three of the four teams that made the conference championship games!

Superbowl poll A

Well…it’s down to two teams: Seattle Seahawks (representing the NFC) and Denver Broncos (representing the AFC).  So for our next poll, we ask you: “Which Team Wins Superbowl 48 (XLVIII) ?”  Please cast you vote below.  Also, we’re interested if you think having the Super Bowl outdoors, in NY/NJ, is a GOOD idea or a BAD idea? Please vote on that question as well.

[polldaddy poll=7752297]

[polldaddy poll=7752305]

For more information on the Super Bowl, visit their official website here.

 

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You Say it’s Your Birthday!

The hustle and bustle of the holidays has ended; perhaps as a New Year’s resolution, you have made it your goal to remember everyone’s birthday this year. Let Figi’s help you pick out that special gift and send to everyone on your birthday list. Birthdays are the perfect time to celebrate with friends and family and Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste has some great gifts for your guy, gal, child, niece, nephew, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, co-worker, and friend…everyone you know! We have a variety of choices like personalized gifts, sentimental gifts, gifts for sports fans, gift baskets and more! Figi’s has gifts for everyone on your list, check out our suggestions below.

Favorite Gift for Him – Smokehouse Beef Sticks & More

Smokehouse Beef Sticks and More from Figi'sFigi’s is known for its delicious meats and our Smokehouse Beef Sticks is just one of many meat treats you can get that will leave your guy’s mouth watering. It is one of our Signature Gifts and comes in four incredible flavors: beef, honey ham, hot & spicy and pepperoni. These seasoned smoked treats come in a great reusable tin and the more you buy the more you save with our Buy More, Save More pricing.

Favorite Gift for Her – Foundation® Angels of Blessing for the Ones You Love

Foundations Angels of Blessing from Figi'sThese beautiful Angels of Blessings are a loving celebration of those special people in your life with endearing words expressing love and appreciation; “A Daughter is a Blessing, a Treasure from above” (Foundations® Angel of Blessing – Daughter Statue). You can get one of these delicately crafted Angels for your Mother, Sister, Daughter, Grandmother and Friend.

Favorite Gift for Kids – Personalized Sports Ball Banks

Personalized Sports Ball Banks from Figi'sYour favorite sports fanatic will love these coin banks full of yummy treats, including milk chocolate foiled game balls, Tootsie Rolls®, Laffy Taffy®, Hershey’s® Miniature Bars and more. These coin banks can be personalized and are the gift that keeps on giving. We offer a variety of sports ball coin banks, such as basketball, baseball and football, but hurry because they go fast.

Favorite Gift for Anyone – Birthday Wishes Gift Tower

Birthday Wishes Gift TowerSend this sweet, towering birthday celebration to anyone on your list! This gift is a delicious way to send your birthday wishes with three layers of sweet treats and over two pounds of your favorite snacks, including Hershey’s® Miniatures, chewy Tootsie Rolls®, milk chocolate covered pretzels, creamy-crunchy candy covered Pretzels dusted with confetti, York® Peppermint Patties, cotton candy-flavored Cupcake Nougat Fluffs® and our marvelous Moo Mix®.

Haven’t found the perfect birthday gift from the selections above? Click here to see our complete Birthday Gifts collection. We’re sure to have something for your gift giving needs.

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The History of Figi’s Part 1: Figi’s – What an Odd Name!

John FigiWe often have our company’s name misspelled and mispronounced: most common pronunciations are “Fee-geez”, “Fig-us” and “Figs”. However, said properly, Figi’s sounds like “Fig-eez”. Sometimes, we’re asked about the origin the company name or are told Figi’s is an odd name for a company. As we move into 2014, it dawned on us we’ve never really blogged about our company’s history and where the Figi’s name came from.  It’s an interesting story; at least we hope you will find it to be. So with that, we present “The History of Figi’s Part 1 – What an Odd Name!”

A former federal cheese inspector named John Figi, along with his wife Ann, founded “Figi’s” Gifts in Good Taste in the kitchen of the family’s apartment in Marshfield, Wisconsin in the early 1940s.  They compiled a list of 1,500 names from telephone directories spanning a five state area and sent out postcards offering a “Cheese of the Month” gift assortment.  This pioneering attempt at direct mail advertising resulted in a mere 43 orders.

The Little Red Wagon

To fulfill these orders, the couple purchased Wisconsin’s best cheese in bulk, cut it in their kitchen and preserved it in wax – melted on their kitchen stove.  They assembled the cheese and other items in gift packages and stored them in a cooler their parents gave them as a wedding gift.  Legend has it that the packages were hauled to a local post office in their children’s red wagon.

John and Ann outgrew their kitchen operation rather quickly!  And the red wagon was replaced by truckloads of gifts being delivered in time for the holidays.  Figi’s success was due in large part to John’s philosophy to “sell the best cheese at good prices and guarantee satisfaction, no matter what.”   He was president of this large and ever–expanding company until 1982.

John Figi – The Man

John Figi and President Gerald FordOn a more personal note, John Figi’s other passion was golf.  He was the Wisconsin State High School golf champion in the 1930s, scored his eighth hole in one at age 84 and over his life, owned two golf courses.  On his 80th birthday, John had the honor of golfing with former President Ford near his home in Rancho Mirage, California.

John Figi is remembered as a visionary, one of the individuals who pioneered the direct mail industry. And the name “Figi’s”, no matter how odd, will forever be a tribute to its founder.

2013 Limited Edition Red Wagon OrnamentTo learn more about our Red Wagon Ornament series and how you can submit an idea for next years design, click here.

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A Figi’s Meat & Cheese Pairing Guide

Savory Sixteen Meat and Cheese SamplerWhether you’re planning to host a holiday party, plan a networking event, prepare for a wine tasting or even just get together a delicious afternoon snack, knowing the best way to pair different meats and cheeses is guaranteed to make a good impression. A platter of meats and cheeses can feed a hungry crowd, or maybe you’re thinking of sending a meat and cheese gift basket to a friend or loved one. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to decide which cheeses & meats to serve, with an eye for proper proportions of each!

Before you get started, take a mental note of how many people you are serving. It is generally recommended you have at least 1-2 ounces of each type of cheese available for each person, with complimentary meats to match!

Choosing the Cheese

Your first step in preparing a meat and cheese platter is understanding the types of cheese you are working with. There are literally hundreds of unique types of cheese you can taste from around the world, too many to get into here! For our purposes and your own, you’ll want to consider how ‘hard’ the cheese is. This gives a good idea of a specific cheese’s moisture content, texture, and flavor.

Pimento Cheese-SpreadSoft cheeses hold a lot of moisture and tend to have less flavor & aroma than their harder cousins. Some of the most popular “soft cheeses” include Havarti & Muenster.

Pro Tip: A soft, blended cheese spread is perfect for dipping veggies or spreading on gourmet crackers!

Buttery Baby SwissMedium-hard cheeses make up a broad category that has noticeably less moisture & more flavor. Popular styles such as Swiss, Gruyere, and Gouda fall into this category – each well known for a distinctive flavor and soft, almost creamy texture. Medium-hard cheeses are ideal for melting, and are excellent choices for paninis, grilled sandwiches, and toast.

Apple Pie CheddarHard cheeses have the lowest moisture content of all three categories, and are often packed into molds or rinds and aged for a much longer period of time. The most famous in this family, Cheddar, is made right here in Wisconsin and a long time Figi’s Favorite. Some hard cheeses like Cheddar have a noticeable ‘bite’ or acidity to them, but not every member of the family is quite so sharp. Montery Jack & Colby, bot hard cheeses, have a softer, almost nutty flavor. The hardest cheeses in this category are typically reserved for grating (think Parmesan & Romano), and are not ideal for most cheese platters.

Now that we’re more familiar with our types of cheese, let’s dig into some pairing suggestions!

1. The Ham Sandwich

Perhaps the most classic lunchtime fare, the ham sandwich represents a natural partnership between the salty-sweet lunch meat and a number of delicious cheeses. The key to finding the best cheese to pair with ham is to choose one with complimentary flavor and texture. If your ham is smoked, toasted or particularly sweet, a softer cheese like Muenster or Swiss is an excellent choice. For ham that is more salty than smoky, a hard cheese with more acidity creates a great flavor balance. Try our Classic Aged Cheddar or a smooth Monterey Jack.

2. The Turkey Combo

Turkey is an easy favorite during the holidays for obvious reasons, but choosing which cheese to compliment your bird can be more of a challenge. While white meat is usually dry and less flavorful, the dark meat stands in stark contrast with both taste and texture. For white meat, we recommend a more flavorful cheese like Wisconsin Colby or Gouda. For dark turkey meat, cut the flavor with a spicy, Pepper Jack cheese or a soft, buttery Swiss.

3. With Roast Beast

Roast beef brings a lot of flavor to the table, so this combination will depend a great deal on your tastes. Choose a medium provolone or aged Swiss to compliment the flavor, or let the beef do more of the talking with a smooth Havarti.

4. Summer Sausages

Our Summer Sausages pair best with medium-hard to hard cheeses. The flaky texture of aged cheddar pairs perfectly with almost any slice of sausage. If you prefer a cheese that isn’t quite as sharp, try Brick cheese, Colby Jack, or American cheeses.

5. The Best Cheese for a Burger

This is the category with perhaps the most contention anywhere you look. Some people are die-hard cheddar-on-a-burger-or-nothing types, some prefer the intensity of Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola, while still others prefer everything from Swiss to Monterey Jack. Ultimately, it’s the chef’s choice, and we recommend you choose a soft to medium-hard cheese that will melt perfectly into your patty. Our favorite is Gruyere!

Do you have questions about a particular pairing? Connect with us! Visit us online at Facebook or Google+ and share your comments!

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