(Image credit: blanco teko under CC BY 2.0)

Whether it's the pink pickled ginger tucked next the plastic green grass in the sushi you pick up from the grocery store, or the pale, thin slices served at your favorite sushi joint, chances are you're always going to find ginger of some sort next to your order. Ever wonder why?

Us, too. So we did some digging for an answer.

Traditionally, pickled ginger (or gari) is served as a palate cleanser during a meal made up of several courses of sushi. A bite of ginger between the different pieces of sushi allows you to distinguish the distinct flavors of each fish.

Read More: DIY Pickled Ginger

If you're inclined to drape a slice or two of ginger over you sushi, some may mark it as a faux pas. Although, at this point it's so commonly done, perhaps it has become a new manner of enjoying sushi.

Next time your order that sushi boat, see if a bite of the pickled ginger between bites of sushi helps you suss out some of the more delicate flavors.

Do you eat the ginger served with sushi? Skip it? Generously pile it on?