Tamilok is a form of woodworm eaten on the Filipino Island of Palawan, and as you can imagine, it has quite a unique taste.
It is is food, so, well, how to say unique that eating it is considered a “challenge.” Google the Tamilok challenge, and you find numerous videos of people knocking back these slimy little creatures!
So what is Tamilok?
It is not actually woodworm, but a mollusk that has teeth that are so powerful it can bite through metal, hardcore shit!
Why is it called Tamilok?
Apparently, two American GI’s who were fighting Japanese Imperialism were on Palawan, one guy saw someone eating it, and said “Tommy look,” the locals heard it as Tamilok, and thus a legend was born! One indeed wonders how the rest of that conversation went……
How is it served?
Either raw as a kinilaw (link to street food guy), which is a Filipino ceviche or they are deep-fried
How does it taste?
Many people compare the taste to that of an Oyster, I kind of get where people are coming from on this, but sadly no, it does not taste like an oyster. If you get raw tamilok and manage to eat at least two pieces, then I tip my hat to you, as I could not.
And what about this Tamilok challenge?
As stated before, and in my humble opinion, it is relatively putrid, or rather very putrid, also quite slimy. Eating it is a genuine challenge, so people film themselves doing for shits and giggles. It is essential to have a hobby after all…..
Where can I eat this dish?
With it being considered a delicacy, you will find it in upmarket restaurants in Puerta Princessa (the capital of Palawan). Tamilok is also street food, and you will see hawkers knocking it out, particularly around the beaches of PP.
Does anyway actually like Tamilok?
It is genuinely a real thing, and the locals of Palawan do enjoy this local specialty.
I want to to try this dish!
Ten join our yearly Island Hopping Tour and we can do the tamilok challenge!.