Last night on Twitter, two words started trending: “Pink Sauce.” Not like the creamy, tomato-based pasta sauce, but a mysterious, controversial condiment with an alarming neon color and upsetting, viscous consistency.
After an explainer from TikTok user and YouTuber Spill Sesh, who recaps internet celeb drama on their channels, made its way onto Twitter, the story of this disturbingly colored liquid became a full-blown spectacle. The Pink Sauce Story has all the makings of a successful scam-turned-media catnip: a uniquely unappealing food item, peddled by a likely grifter with enough confidence for 100 people. This is the kind of internet weirdness the masses seize upon.
Pink Sauce is literally what it sounds like: a pink-colored sauce, to be used with anything from fried chicken to tacos to garden salad. Sounds versatile! Except that, in creator Chef Pii’s increasingly viral videos, Pink Sauce literally looks like Pepto Bismol, or liquid Amoxicillin, or slime. Looking at it makes me—and much of the internet—feel physically ill. Imagine putting that thing in your mouth!
Perhaps eating it is worth it? What does it taste like? That’s part of the controversy, as its creator won’t say. Instead, since she started posting about her concoction in the beginning of June, Chef Pii—a self-proclaimed private/celebrity chef based in Miami—has insisted that inquiring minds just pony up for the $20 item.
When she first started posting videos of herself drizzling her sauce over gyros and asking pleased taste testers to try it with a spoon, the Pink Sauce Matriarch immediately attracted skeptics. Most TikTok users asked her to explain the condiment, to which she would usually offer vagaries like, “It’s sweet, savory, seasoned;” and, “It has its own taste, if you wanna taste it, buy it.” Basically, Pink Sauce had such a special flavor, it defied simple explanation. The element of surprise: Shrewd business tactic, if you ask me.
It took until June 25, when Chef Pii finally put the item on pre-sale, for her to reveal the supposed key ingredients: Dragonfruit, sunflower seed oil, honey, chili, and garlic. That combination isn’t clarifying, however, which led brave TikTokkers to purchase Pink Sauce and test it for themselves.
Pink Sauce didn’t start shipping until July 1, and customers didn’t start receiving their orders until the last week or so, which is when the real reviews started rolling in. It’s also what led to its explosion in infamy on the platform. The revelations and reactions were diffuse. The nutrition facts label had misspelled ingredients and suggested that the bottle somehow offered 444 servings of Pink Sauce. It had a rancid smell upon arrival, and sometimes, it wasn’t even a pink-colored sauce. While some folks say Pink Sauce tastes kind of like ranch, others found it too dangerous to even try—in part because it arrived in some seriously busted packaging.
One video even shows a bottle of Pink Sauce (which literally just looked like ranch) that had expanded in the mail and exploded like a bottle of soda upon opening. (“There’s something gassy in there,” the buyer said.)
There are people who like it, to be fair! (Or, in the words of one influencer, find it to be “not nasty.”) Some people like the taste, which they described as a sweet, buttery ranch.
Running parallel to the Taste Test trend of TikToks are videos of TikTokkers explaining why trying Pink Sauce could be dangerous. One of the listed ingredients is milk, for example, and because the product arrived unrefrigerated, it could make you sick.
After looking through these videos for literal hours, I feel ill. That this has transitioned its way from TikTokkers’ For You Pages to Twitter’s Trending sidebar—and thus almost all my possible feeds—has made it worse. The good thing is that a bunch of the memes and reactions are pretty funny. But is it worth it for a tummy ache, whether you ingest Pink Sauce or not?
At least Chef Pii has heard the complaints and addressed them. (“This is a small business,” she reminded everyone, a plea to cut her some slack.) But whether she refines her Pink Sauce into something that’s more than just an internet-friendly viral gimmick is anyone’s guess.