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Happy Hedgehog Day! Part 1

Groundhog Day is a popular annual tradition held February 2nd.  But it could easily have been called Hedgehog Day, had it not been for, well…we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Many of us await world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast for an early or late spring, based on whether or not Phil sees his shadow. Tens of thousands of people flock to Punxsutawney, PA to witness this tradition every year.  Phil’s shadow is regarded as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather; no shadow is heralded as sign that spring is on the way. Everyone knows that…

But I got to thinking about it: how did that tradition get started? I didn’t have a clue and I wondered if anyone I knew had a clue. So, I asked a dozen people to tell me what Groundhog Day is about and I essentially got the answer in paragraph one…because ‘everyone knows that!’.  However, I asked the same dozen people if they knew the origin of Groundhog Day…and not one person knew. I’m assuming many of our readers don’t know, either and with that, today’s blog will help resolve the question.  We’re going shed some light on the origin of Groundhog Day (oops: light = shadow = six more weeks of winter?!) and share some interesting trivia about Punxsutawney Phil.

Groundhog Day as we know it evolved from traditions associated with Candlemas Day. In early Christian Europe, it was customary to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the masses. Candles where placed in windows and lit. This practice marked a winter milestone (it falls between the middle of Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) and, as is true with Groundhog Day, the weather that day was significant, as noted below:

An old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be twa (two) winters in the year.

It is believed Germany developed the tradition that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, the hedgehog would cast a shadow, scurry back to its burrow and slumber for six more weeks, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather. This was termed the “Second Winter.”

Let’s fast forward to the 1700’s. Many of Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were from Germany. Recall that Punxsutawney is in Pennsylvania? Anyway, as immigrants do, these German settlers brought their traditions with them. The settlers found groundhogs to be abundant (not hedgehogs), and deciding the groundhog resembled the hedgehog from their homeland, adopted the groundhog into their Candlemas Day tradition.  Thus, if the sun appeared on February 2nd, the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home and slumber for another six weeks of winter.

A German saying:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

We’ll share some more Groundhog Day tradition…and the trivia in our next post: Happy Hedgehog Day! Part 2. We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 and thanks for reading Gourmetmarket.com!

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Graduation Gift Ideas for High School & College Grads

Its graduation season! Mid to late May is the time when students everywhere are anxious to throw their hats in the air, get out of the classroom and do a little victory dance to celebrate the culmination of years of study and the onset of another summer. Whether your student is receiving a high school diploma, GED, Bachelor’s Degree or even something higher, we’re excited to help you celebrate their accomplishments through special graduation gifts from Figi’s! Here are a few of o
ur favorite gift ideas for the young men & women taking those exciting steps this year.

Personalized Graduation Gifts

Personalized Graduation Gifts | Figi'sA great graduation gift should express your pride in the graduate; both in who they are and in how far they have come to reach this point. You see, it takes great deal of dedication to complete a 4 year degree, and at the end, graduates are often changed by their efforts – molded by time & ink into someone who is ready to do, see, and continue learning more.

With that in mind, one of our favorite ways to commemorate such a special time is with a personalized wood pen set. Personalized graduation gifts offer a means to tailor your gift to the personality of the graduate, and the pen itself serves as a symbolic reminder to always continue pursuing their education.

Graduation Memorabilia

Graduation Memorabilia Gifts

Whenever significant milestones come to pass, we turn to special memorabilia for a way to capture a moment in time and hold it in memory for as long as we can. More than simple souvenirs or trinkets, personalized memorabilia serve as triggers for memories and emotions born from the successful completion of a single great achievement. These are the kinds of keepsakes that last a lifetime!

Graduation Gift Baskets

Graduation Gift Baskets | Figi'sSometimes the best gift a graduate receives is simply the celebration itself! Some graduation parties are huge affairs packed with extended family members, gifts & food, while others enjoy a more intimate gathering of close friends. However you decide to celebrate, remember that a graduation gift basket filled with delicious snacks, treats, & finger foods is an easy way to get the party started right. Try a hearty snack selection of Wisconsin cheeses & meats, or bring something sweet to share with our famous petit fours from Figi’s!

 
Do you know someone who has or is getting ready to graduate but you’re not sure what to get them? Share with us on Facebook or Google+ and we’ll help you find the perfect gift!

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Figi’s Top 10 Springtime Sweets & Candy Gifts – Pt. 3

Flowers & Chocolate Gifts for Mother's Day | Figi'sAt Figi’s, we believe that the best gifts are thoughtful ones that make a statement and show real appreciation. That’s why we created these special Mother’s Day gifts, hand-made and wrapped with love.

The next gifts on our list of top 10 springtime sweets are all about Mother’s Day and celebrating all the work that the beautiful mothers in your life do on a daily basis to provide for their families and children!

#4 Breast cancer awareness

Mother's Day Breast Cancer Awareness Gifts | Figi'sThis Mother’s Day, don’t forget to support breast cancer awareness by wearing pink. Last year, over 200,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, many of them mothers and grandmothers, and all of them daughters.

We created this special gift basket for any women who are battling breast cancer this year on Mother’s Day. Send this pink bundle of springtime sweets, along with a personal note and wishes for a speedy recovery for a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift that will never be forgotten.

#3 Personalized Petit Fours for Mother’s Day

Personalized Petits Fours for Mother's Day | Figi'sAdd a personal touch to your Mother’s Day gift with a personalized message on her favorite springtime petit four flavors! A mix of chocolate and white miniature cakes, each of our personalized Mother’s Day petits fours are filled with delicious Buttercreme and finished by hand.

This gift will say Happy Mother’s Day with every bite!

#2 Mother’s Day cake

Mother's Day Cake | Figi'sEvery mother deserves the very best we have to offer on Mother’s Day. That’s why one of our favorite gift basket deliveries of the season is this moist white cake, baked especially for moms! It has thick ribbons of strawberry crème baked into its delicious layers, and is topped with sweet confectionery crème and hand-decorated spring flowers that say Happy Mother’s Day in more than just words.

Send one to a beautiful mother in your life in time for Mother’s Day on May 12!

Our #1 Favorite Springtime Gift?

Figi’s Gift cards!

Figi's eGifts

Sometimes it’s hard to decide which gift will perfectly suit the tastes of your friends and family. Even though all of our gifts are satisfaction guaranteed, with so many delicious candy gifts and baked treats created for spring choosing the right gift can be its own battle.

With Figi’s, you can send an e-Gift card that is redeemable in our online store directly to someone’s inbox! This way, you get to send a delicious gift to your favorite friends and family, and they are sure to get exactly what they want!

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Figi’s Top 10 Springtime Sweets & Candy Gifts – Pt. 2

One of our favorite things about springtime is the chance to use all the extra sunshine to get out and spend time with the people you love. Not to mention that spring socials, picnics, potlucks and get-togethers are the perfect excuse to enjoy your favorite foods and desserts!

While your social calendar continues to fill up as the days grow longer, it can be difficult to think of a new dish, treat, or gift to bring with you to each special occasion. Mix things up with gourmet sweets and candy gifts from Figi’s, perfect for every springtime gathering!

We continue our series on the Top 10 gifts for spring with desserts and treats that are meant to be shared.

#7 Pink lemonade cake

Pink Lemonade Cake | Figi'sWe all know that pink lemonade is one of the most beloved, if unofficial, flavors of springtime. That’s why we captured the delicious sweetness of pink lemonade and baked it into a refreshing round cake! Rich and moist, this cake isn’t too heavy to enjoy on a warm spring day, and is perfect to take with you as a dessert for a barbeque or picnic. If you’re not hosting, take it with you as a great baked gift for your host as a thank you!

#6 Caramel Pecan Clusters

Chocolate Candy Gifts | FigisThis one is for all the true chocolate lovers out there. While there are some holidays famous for sharing chocolate gifts, any true cocoa connoisseur will tell you that quality chocolate not only can, but should be enjoyed all year long!

Caramel pecan clusters are a perfect spring gift for any chocoholic, especially when you can choose to have buttery caramel-wrapped pecan chunks dipped in your choice of delicious milk or rich dark chocolate!

#5 Snack Variety Tins

Gummi Snacks & Candy Gifts | Figi's

Licorice Candy Gifts | Figi'sTaffy Candy Gifts                                     Snack varieties are the perfect choice to take to any gathering, and will quickly make you a celebrated guest! We carry18 delicious sweets & snacks ready to share in gift-ready tins or to keep on hand for an impromptu party.

From Fruity Gummi Bears to Licorice Buttons and Springtime Taffy, Figi’s is your destination for all types of gourmet candy gift ideas.

Like what you’ve seen so far? Come back next week for more of our favorite candy gifts for spring!

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Figi’s Top 10 Springtime Sweets & Candy Gifts – Pt. 1

Here at Figi’s we’ve noticed that every season has its own unique flavors. Winter is a time full of peppermints and licorice – sticky sweets that make you feel warm and mark the onset of the holiday season. Late winter and early spring, from Valentine’s Day through Easter, is all about chocolate – a delicious treat full of natural compounds that are proven to elevate your mood, leaving you feeling happy and loved.

As we move further into spring and welcome the return of warmer weather, a new palette of tastes is ready to be enjoyed. With so many citrus fruits harvested in spring, it’s little wonder that the tasty theme this time of year is a refreshing mix of key lime, lemon, orange, & many more of your favorite flavors.

With this in mind, we set out to create the best candy gifts and sweets possible that capture the spirit of Spring. Check out the first of our Top 10 Gifts this season, and share if you’ve enjoyed a similar gift from Figi’s!

#10 Country Time Lemonade Chewy Candy

Country Time Lemonade Chewy Candy | Figi's

These tangy, chewy candy fruit treats are guaranteed to put a smile on your face as soon as you taste their sweet lemonade goodness. Individually wrapped original, pink, raspberry, and peach lemonade flavors, these candies will quickly remind you of visiting your local neighborhood lemonade stand on a warm afternoon!


#9 Coconut Haystacks

Fruity Coconut Haystack Candy | Figi's

Haystack candies are small, melt-in-your-mouth mounds of sweets that can be made from any number of classic ingredients. The ‘haystack’ finished product brings all the flavors together for a delicious treat you’ll want to share!

At Figi’s, our haystacks are made with sweet, crispy coconut mixed with your favorite springtime flavors like key lime, cherry, orange, pineapple & more. These treats make perfect candy gift baskets for your friends and family!

#8 Springtime Petits Fours

Spring Petit Fours | Figi's

We took traditional, European style petit fours and gave them a Springtime twist by incorporating refreshing lemon, key lime, and orange into our rich Buttercreme filling. Topped off with sweet icing and hand decorated accents, these Spring petits fours are perfect for every social occasion! Pair them with our Classic flavors or try them in 32 or 64 count gift boxes.

Like what you’ve seen so far? Visit us at Figis.com and order your favorite springtime treat, or try something new! If you have any ideas for a spring gift you’d like to see at Figi’s, be sure to connect with us on Google+ or Facebook.

Check back next week for more of our favorite candy gifts for spring!

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Choosing the Best Birthday Gift Baskets

Birthday Wishes Gift Basket | Figi'sBirthdays will always hold a special place in our hearts and minds as a time to celebrate the good things in life. Whether you like to plan an adventure every year or just want to relax and take things easy, one thing is certain; any good birthday involves doing what you love, but it’s the little things like hearing from old friends, wishes coming true, and particularly thoughtful gifts that can take any good birthday and turn it into a great one. 

That’s why we’ve put together some of our favorite birthday gift baskets this year to help you celebrate every special day with your family and friends.

Favorite foods

California Pistachios Birthday Basket | Figi'sIf you’re struggling to think of the best gift you can give someone on their birthday, take a moment to think about their favorite foods. What do they like to eat? Are they a certified carnivore with fire-hardened grilling tools? Do they love gourmet cupcakes with real, buttercream frosting? Maybe you always see them with a bag of California Pistachios close by? Whatever it is, these clues will help you find a gift that satisfies their craving for their favorite things. Send their favorite foods with our nation-wide basket delivery service and your birthday basket is sure to be remembered even after the treats have gone!

Personalized Messages

Personalized Birthday Gift Baskets | Figi'sThere’s a reason candles and lotion feel a little cliché when they’re given as birthday presents – they aren’t personal! They have all the trappings of a gift, but not the sentiment that says you love who this person is and you want them to have their favorite things on their birthday. That’s why Figi’s helps you personalize gift baskets for your family and friends, so your best wishes are clear as day!

Birthday Petit Fours

Birthday Petit Fours | Figi'sSome of the best gifts are the kind you can eat and the kind you can share. Birthday petit fours combine the best of both worlds with bite size morsels of rich, moist cake and buttercreme fruit filling boxed up and ready to enjoy together. They’re perfect for birthday parties and get-togethers, or you can always keep them safe for a daily indulgence after your birthday!

Do you have a favorite birthday treat you look forward to every year? Let us know in the comments – we’re always on the lookout for great ideas!

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Baked Easter Goods

Candy Gifts & Easter Petit Fours | Figi'sOver time, the practice of giving candy gifts on Easter has grown beyond the sweet classics of chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, candied eggs, marshmallow Peeps® and beyond. Today, common Easter gifts include baked goods and gifts straight out of the kitchen, from custom cupcakes and personalized petits fours to peanut brittle and delicious fudge. These baked treats are creating their own place in a storied holiday tradition, each with their own unique tastes and colorful recipes. At Figi’s, we love spreading the spirit of Easter joy with candy gifts and baked goods for all ages.

Just remember, the key to choosing a great Easter gift, no matter who it is for, is in discovering something new together. Easter was originally a celebration for new beginnings after all!

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Easter Eggs

Peanut Butter Easter Egg | Figi'sThe first edible Easter bunnies were made from baked pastries in the 1800’s, and were hidden in straw nests for children to find. Over time, the bunnies began ‘laying’ solid chocolate eggs made from roasted cocoa beans and other treats, which gave rise to everyone’s favorite Easter activity – the scavenger hunt. This practice is one of the reasons we still give Easter Gift Baskets full of candy! The edible Easter bunnies and their eggs have evolved over time into the delicious solid chocolate and candy treats we now know and love. At Figi’s you’ll find chocolate bunnies, Easter fudge and peanut butter eggs perfect for your family’s own Easter morning traditions and scavenger hunts!

Kids of all ages love the Easter candy, but what other gifts have become Easter traditions? Come back to find out!

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Easter Bunnies

Chocolate Easter Bunny - Figi'sThe first Easter “bunnies” originated from German folktales with hares as the heroes. Rather than burrowing underground, the hare builds its home as a sort of ‘nest’ above ground much like a bird, which gave rise to the common myth that hares lay eggs! The hare, egg, and basket are all symbols of fertility, a theme that has played a central role in Easter celebrations long before the holiday was adopted by Western religions. When the story of Easter traveled to other cultures, the hare was replaced with the rabbit, and the Easter Bunny was born.

So, you may ask, how did Easter eggs get started? We’ll answer that question next week… see you then!

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Easter Candy Traditions

Easter Candy & Basket TraditionsThe tradition of giving candy gift baskets to loved ones and friends on Easter first started with an old-world celebration for the onset of spring.

The break of winter and the changing season was marked by brightly colored feasts and family gatherings that celebrated new beginnings, growing communities, the gift of new life, and the company of old friends. Festive gifts were chosen as tidings of unity, joy, and good health.

Many of these symbols and gifts were later adopted for religious celebrations, but some of the changes to these Easter traditions just might surprise you! For instance, do you know where the Easter Bunny came from? Come back next week for Easter fun facts!

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