What is "pink sauce" and why are people getting hopping mad about it?

Another hot food trend floating around TikTok is something called "Pink Sauce," and it's been creating a lot of controversy lately. The sauce, which is, yes, sort of Pepto Bismol pink, was created by Miami-based "Chef Pii," and is featured on her TikTok, where she posts videos of herself making and eating the sauce. Here's one, for example, where she eats the sauce with cucumbers, ramen, and fried chicken. In her TikToks she never really talks too much about what's in the sauce, but according to the website where you can buy it for $20.00, the ingredients include dragon fruit (this gives it its pink color), sunflower seed oil, honey, garlic, and chili. 

As soon as her videos started appearing, she began getting a lot of criticism. Lots of folks simply found the whole thing revolting or hilarious and posted reaction videos making fun of the pink sauce. Twitter user RUNYOMONEY tweeted, for example, "what kiIIs me abt the pink sauce stuff is that it literally looks disgusting." Joseph Lamour at Today explains that, additionally, more serious questions arose over what was in the sauce, what it tasted like, what credentials the person making it had, whether it was made in a certified and safe food kitchen, and more. He states:

In addition to countless tweets and memes, there are some real concerns about the safety of a product that, as Chef Pii told NBC News is "still in testing."

Pink sauce critics also pointed out that, according to the label on products that customers received, the sauce contains milk, but the packaging neglects to provide refrigeration requirements typical of foodstuffs that contain dairy, nor does it provide an expiration date.

But whatever controversy is swirling around online, according to Emily Heil, writing for the Washington Post, Chef Pii is "proud of her product." Heil explains:

As customers began receiving their products when shipping began July 1 (she said she's sold about 700 bottles so far), people complained that the packaging was poor, with some posting images of leaking bottles. Chef Pii says she's switched shipping companies and apologized to customers who got damaged bottles . . . 

Previously, Chef Pii had only offered a cryptic response to many on social media who wondered whether she was operating legally. "Yes, we are following FDA standard," she said in a video, adding that "we are currently in lab testing, so once we go through lab testing, we will be able to pitch to stores, to put the Pink Sauce in stores." She now plans to post a long video, maybe as long as 45 minutes, tonight on YouTube to answer all of the questions people have raised.

Plenty of people thought it was strange that the sauce's inventor wouldn't describe its flavor, an omission that helped fuel the mystery around the sauce — and stoked the sense that she was hiding something. But Chef Pii says she wasn't being intentionally coy or even trying to create hype. She says she really can't put the flavor, which some have described as ranch-adjacent, into words. "I wasn't trying to be rude or anything," she insists.

So maybe we can all rest assured now that the product is safe and the labeling and shipping have been corrected. I'm still not sure that's gonna make me try it. At the very minimum, this whole Pink Sauce craze is perhaps inspiring others that they really can be whoever they want to be. Twitter user kharis. tweeted, for example, "This pink sauce thing is really motivating me to pursue my dreams, because clearly y'all will do and buy anything." If you really want to try it, you can order it here. I think I'm with twitter use maskfisher, though, who tweeted: "It looks like the thing people used to put on chicken pox." Yeah, it looks way too much like calamine lotion for me to want to eat it. Gonna pass on this one.