If you enjoy the delicate, short-lived flavors of really fresh mozzarella and ricotta as much as I do, the cheese kit from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company is for you. Included are vegetable rennet tablets, citric acid, and other supplies for about 20 batches, each of which uses 1 gallon of milk to produce about 3/4 pound of cheese.
Order the kit ($19.95, plus $4.75 shipping) from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, Box 85, Ashfield, MA 01330; (413) 628-3808 or www.cheesemaking.com.
The perfect partner for fresh homemade mozzarella is homegrown tomatoes. Since those in my garden aren't ready yet, I've been using the vine-ripened tomatoes from Mexico in my supermarket. On a recent trip to Sinaloa, I saw them being fastidiously grown, harvested, and packed to meet FDA and USDA standards. The Mexican-grown tomatoes bring garden-fresh flavor to a classic summer combo:
Tomatoes and fresh mozzarella salad.
Alternate layers of sliced tomatoes and fresh whole-milk mozzarella on a platter, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.