I ate a worm… (Eating Tamilok worm in the Philippines.)
I ate a worm in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. But it was really a clam or a mollusk or something like that… It was called a tamilok worm and it was slimy and gross but not altogether all that bad.
I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily seek this weird Filipino food out. Or want to eat it again. But I tried it. And it was not the most disgusting food I ever ate.
So that’s something. Right?
Tamilok worms, also known as woodworm or shipworm, are Filipino delicacies and probably one of the most unique dishes in the Philippines (alongside the more famous strange food item balut, fertilized duck embryo, which I also ate in the Philippines).
These little creatures are not really worms, though they look like them: long and thin, noodle-like, slimy, gray. The tamilok woodworm is named as such because the mollusk is actually found in dead tree trunks and decaying logs in slightly salty water where ocean meets river, and extracted from the wood by harvesters.
Yum. I mean, whoever first thought to eat this strange food was probably, well, pretty strange himself.
We found this weird Filipino food in Palawan. My tour group had stopped for a buffet lunch on our way from Puerto Princesa to our tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River. While eating a pretty normal lunch of pretty normal Filipino dishes, we noticed a small stand with a flowered table cloth set up with a cooler declaring “Tamilok 4-Sale.”
We asked our guide and he explained what this weird food was and one of the guys on our tour was brave enough to order a serving.
And was nice enough to share. So one by one everyone at our table dug in.
When he asked me if I wanted to try it, I hesitated. Did I want to try it? Not really. But, when in Rome. Or, I guess, when in the Philippines…
So I ate the worm dish and dipped the slimy, gray woodworm in a spicy sauce of water mixed with chili and lime. And I slurped it down.
Photos from eating tamilok worm in Puerto Princesa, Philippines:
For more…normal…popular Filipino dishes check out everything I at in the Philippines.