Gastropod

FOLLOWING its corporate policy of sponsoring radical artists, Absolut vodka flowed at the private view of the first major retrospective of the work of Philippe Starck, the man responsible for the world's most beautiful but least practical citrus- juice squeezer. The exhibition, at the Design Museum in London, was curated by the man himself, and is undeniably intriguing. However, the question on the lips of the preview posse was not 'Is Starck a de

signer?' but 'Is Absolut a vodka?'

Being colourless, almost odourless and more-or-less devoid of flavour, vodka is often defined by its lack of characteristics. Absolut is redistilled in a process that strips out the components that give other spirits their character but also cause hangovers. Indeed, were it not for the fact that a proportion of it is aged in oak barrels, Absolut would taste of nothing at all. Gas chromatographic analysis shows it to be practically pure ethanol, and empirical evidence suggests that one can drink quite a lot without necessarily feeling like death next day. Consequently it is safe to say that Absolut is vodka, but not as we know it.

ALSO on show at the Design Museum is the latest piece of Absolut art, commissioned from one Douglas Gordon, which departs from the absolute norm in that it does not feature an image of a bell-shaped Absolut bottle. It is a blank canvas that has been repeatedly impregnated with vodka. 'What I did,' explains the artist 'was to 'paint on' a coating of Absolut vodka, let it soak in, then evaporate, and do it again and again. So it looks blank, but isn't. The canvas is clean and pure and this emphasises the purity of the vodka.' Pure vodka or pure bull?

THAT reminds the Gastropod of the beef in Tesco's fresh meat cabinet this week. It may look the same as last week and it costs no more, but it should be more tender and taste better. The store has adopted the specifications, painstakingly worked out by the Meat and Livestock Commission, that govern every stage of beef production, from rearing to slaughtering and maturing the meat. For example, carcasses are hung from the hip rather than the hoof, so that the body weight is more evenly distributed, causing less unnatural stress to the fibres of the meat.

This kind of tender loving care costs money, of course, and, until now, so-called 'blueprint beef' has been available only from independent butchers and as a part of Sainsbury's premium-quality 'traditional' range. The Tesco initiative, however, costs consumers nothing.

ON WEDNESDAY evening, the mother-and-baby research charity Birthright is organising a Gala Charity Preview of the House & Garden Eating-In Show at the Business Design Centre in Islington, north London. Guests will be offered Canard- Ducheme champagne and canapes by Anton Mosimann, and the chance to be among the first to visit the show's four themed pavilions tasting wines and dishes from all over the world and seeing state-of-the-art kitchens.

Tickets are pounds 35, pounds 15 of which will go direct to the charity; the remaining pounds 20 is redeemable via a card that entitles the bearer to free goods, including a tea caddy from Harrods, a maple walnut cake from the California cake and cookie company, and a booklet of celebrities' bread recipes from Copperstone Kitchens. Credit card bookings can be made by calling Birthright on 071-262 5337.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album