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Gari (ガリ) is a type of tsukemono (pickled vegetables). It is sweet, thinly sliced young ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar. Young ginger is generally preferred for gari because of its tender flesh and natural sweetness. Gari is often served and eaten after sushi, and is sometimes called sushi ginger. It is considered to be essential in the presentation of sushi. It is used to cleanse the palate between eating different pieces of sushi, or alternatively before or after the meal.
When traditionally prepared, gari typically has a pale yellow to slightly pink hue from the pickling process. Only very young ginger will develop the slight pink tint. Many brands of commercially produced gari are artificially colored pink (often by E124 or beet juice), either to intensify the color or because the ginger used is too mature to turn pink upon pickling.
As a form of ginger, gari has minor anti-microbial properties, which may be useful when consuming raw food.
In Australia it is a common misconception that the ginger is not actually for a palate cleanser, rather it is part of the meal and is supposed to be eaten with the sushi or sashimi. Many people soak the ginger in soya sauce and place the saturated ginger on a piece of sushi before consuming.
- Setsuko Yoshizuka. "Pickled Ginger". About.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18..
- "Detailed Frequently Asked Questions — Beyond The Basics, Making Sushi at Home, and Where to Find Sushi Grade Fish". Retrieved 2013-02-24.