Pink Sauce: The Most Controversial Sauce Ever Made?

TikTok has been a tastemaker for the past three years, driving social conversations and generating its own amount of controversy. It has also become a platform for food creators who provide their own twists on the culinary arts. Some are professional chefs showing off their food wizardry, like amauryguichon and iamtabithabrown (who is so successful she now has her own line of foods at Target, which we tried), while others are darn good amateurs like theredbowl and sandwichidiot. And still there are others who curry as much controversy as the platform itself, including probably the most controversial of all: chef.pii and her Pink Sauce.

What is Pink Sauce?

Pink Sauce creator Veronica Shaw, who goes by chef.pii, debuted her wild concoction on TikTok in 2022. The sauce instantly garnered attention due to its bright pink color, matching the colorful style of its creator. It’s a clever food gimmick that we’ve seen before—who can forget EZ Squirt? Pink Sauce was an instant hit and people were desperate to buy it, even at the price of $20 a bottle. 

Shaw’s multiple videos promoting the sauce show her spreading it on fried chicken, slathering it on burgers, and drizzling it on salads and other vegetables. When asked about what it tasted like, Shaw played coy, saying she couldn’t describe it, which only stoked her audience’s fascination. People would just have to order it and try it themselves, and they did; Shaw sold out of the product in about a month.

pink sauce

We Tried Pink Sauce

Want to know what Pink Sauce tastes like? We tried the viral TikTok sauce. Find out what we thought about it.

Pink Sauce ingredients: What goes into it?

The original ingredient list for Pink Sauce was the following: water, sunflower-seed oil, raw honey, distilled vinger [sic], garlic, dragon fruit, pink Himalayan sea salt, chili, lemon juice, milk, and citric acid. There are a few things of note here.

First, is the dragon fruit, also called pitaya. Dragon fruit is known for its bright pink hue. And, since there are no listed artificial or natural colorings, we are left to assume that it is the only ingredient that gives the sauce its pink color. Second, vinegar was misspelled on the label as “vinger.” Typically, it’s not a good sign if the label wasn’t proofread prior to bottling. It makes you wonder what kind of care went into making the sauce. Third, milk is an ingredient, but nowhere on the bottle did it say it required refrigeration. Even if the amount of milk was minimal, it can cause botulism if it isn’t refrigerated. 

What was the Pink Sauce controversy?

It’s no surprise, given the label issues, that Pink Sauce attracted a significant amount of controversy. Soon after its release and consumers received the product, the bad reviews started rolling in. Not only was the ingredient list troubling, the label claimed there were 444 servings in a bottle and a serving is equal to one tablespoon. Math is hard for me, but that adds up to well over 20 cups of sauce, which the bottle could not possibly contain. People correctly assumed that the product had yet to be FDA approved.

Additionally, TikTokers claimed illness after eating it. The quality of each bottle varied wildly: Some smelled bad, some had a much thicker consistency than what Shaw was demonstrating on TikTok, and sometimes even the color was wrong. As far as taste goes, the general consensus was that it amounted to watered-down ranch dressing. 

What started as a viral TikTok trend pretty quickly ended as a culinary nightmare.

Is Pink Sauce safe?

Why even ask this question considering the amount of issues Pink Sauce had on its initial release? Well, the reason is that today, you can find Pink Sauce on shelves at most Walmarts. Something obviously changed. 

Soon after Shaw’s viral debacle, the company Dave’s Gourmet partnered with Shaw. Dave’s Gourmet is most known for making ridiculous hot sauces, many which appear on the show Hot Ones. They revised the recipe for Pink Sauce to make it safer. The FDA approved it and it was in stores starting in January 2023.

Today, the ingredient list is the following: dragon fruit puree, canola oil, coconut cream, water, sugar, distilled white vinegar (spelled correctly), garlic, ranch flavor, salt, spices, maltodextrin, and all the other kinds of stuff you find in processed foods and sauces. 

So yes, Pink Sauce now is safe to consume. Is it safe for your taste buds? That’s for you to decide.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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