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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 primarily is used to cover up the smell of raw fish in the sushi restaurant, but also has the secondary function of cleansing the palate between eating different pieces of sushi.
Although not standard, some people may eat the sushi by placing the gari on top of the sushi.
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 and/or beet juice), either to intensify the color or because the ginger used is too mature to turn pink upon pickling.
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