Pink sauce. Image Credit: Jules Roscoe
Pink Sauce is back—and it’s orange. The TikTok Pink Sauce that went viral over the summer has finally hit the market as an official product of Dave’s Gourmet Specialty Foods, a company known for its hot sauces. Motherboard reported on the sauce’s progress over the summer, and has even spoken with its creator, Chef Pii. So, the Dave’s Gourmet team sent us a sample from its first batch.
I was, admittedly, scared to try the sauce, because of the controversy that surrounded it during the summer. The condiment first went viral on TikTok in mid-July, when Chef Pii posted videos of her making it. The color of each batch of sauce was inconsistent, viewers said. Some said Chef Pii had mislabeled her nutritional information to include angel numbers—others thought her ingredient list (including dragon fruit, chili flakes, and the components of mayonnaise) didn’t make sense and noted that some of the ingredients are not shelf stable and were being mailed long distances in the height of summer. Chef Pii told Motherboard in an interview at the time that agents from the FDA had come to her house to inspect her kitchen. Moreover, nobody—not even Chef Pii herself—could describe what it tasted like. Some said sweet, some said spicy, and some said like ranch dressing. The bottle I received from Dave’s Gourmet is glass, with a label reading “Pink Sauce As Seen On TikTok & Instagram.” Again, the sauce inside is not pink, but a pale orange reminiscent of Thousand Island Dressing, with flecks of dark orange dispersed inside.
The nutrition label says each serving is 100 Calories, and does not contain any angel numbers. The ingredients include dragon fruit puree, coconut cream, white vinegar, garlic, and ranch flavor. The expiration date is in 2024, a testament to the sauce’s shelf life. The bottle encourages customers to refrigerate it after opening—some of Chef Pii’s previous sauces did not have this recommendation, which caused much concern.
It smells as if ranch dressing went bad. There is no hint of any potential sweetness from the dragon fruit or coconut cream—it smells of very sour, perhaps expired ranch dressing. I licked some of the sauce off of a chopstick and gagged on it. It tastes that way, too: a very sour, very salty, knock-off ranch dressing. The aftertaste is a bit spicy and leaves the tongue and throat slightly tingling for a few seconds after. I did not enjoy it.However, I am also not a fan of ranch dressing in general, so I asked my ranch-loving roommate to try it as well. They sniffed the bottle and said, “Ugh, this smells terrible.” They then dipped a finger in to try the sauce, and reacted with a disgusted grunt, followed by, “This is gross.”
Though I dislike the taste of the sauce, the product is a step up from Chef Pii’s work over the summer, and is much clearer about what it contains. In July, Chef Pii had said there was no garlic in the sauce, but videos of the sauce-making process showed her blending large quantities of what looks like raw garlic and oil, which, if unrefrigerated, can cause botulism. She was attempting to sell the sauce online, and was shipping it to customers unrefrigerated during a heat wave, which had a lot of people questioning if the sauce was even safe to eat. Some customers posted videos showing that their orders had exploded during shipping. Others, including two people on the Motherboard staff, never got their orders and were given money back for their purchase without requesting a refund. Chef Pii had also issued terms and conditions for the sauce which prohibited customers from sharing any “unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, indecent or profane material” about their purchase. I don’t think I will be consuming the rest of my Pink Sauce, but at least it isn’t because I am concerned for my safety. I simply don’t like it.