Ginger adds great flavor to many foods, including a host of Asian dishes, carrot soup and apple sauce.
Like most herbs and spices, ginger has more flavor when fresh, not dried. Fresh ginger is available by the pound in most food stores, so smaller pieces can be snapped off. Look for ginger that has smooth skin; avoid ginger that has shriveled skin.
If you are left with extra, or always want to have some on hand, simply store the ginger unwrapped in the refrigerator. It'll stay for a couple weeks.
And don't worry about the exposed areas where you cut or snap the ginger. A protective layer (almost like a scab) will form, as seen above to the right. To the left is a newly-exposed area.