‘Whale vomit’ worth 10 mln liras seized in Turkey’s south
Ambergris, a solid, waxy and flammable substance of a dull grey or black color produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, is used extensively by the perfume industry.
According to local media, the police sources took action upon notification that “a suspect has brought a heavy load of whale puke in the country illegally.”
On conducting a raid on the suspect’s vehicle and house, the security units found the ambergris weighing 42 kilos and 750 grams.
The man, only identified with his initials F.A., was nabbed. “The market price of the product is around 10 million liras,” a police source told local media.
Ambergris has historically been used in food and drink. A serving of eggs and ambergris was reportedly King Charles II of England’s favorite dish. A kind of liqueur made of ambergris was served as a flavoring agent in Turkish coffee in the 19th century.
During the era of the Black Death in Europe, people believed that carrying a ball of ambergris could help prevent them from contracting the plague.