Caseificio Inno al Sole. Delicious cheeses of pure Maremma buffalo
Halfway between Rome and Florence, in the midst of the Tuscan countryside, sits a bright orange building with the words INNO AL SOLE – “Hymn to the Sun” in Italian – above a pair of green doors. Standing on the front patio you can see the softly curving silhouette of the Uccellina Mountains in the distance and perhaps even feel a gentle breeze from the direction of the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea. Walk through the front doors of Caseificio Inno al Sole and the first thing you will notice is their extraordinary display of cheeses.
The cheeses come in assorted shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: each is produced with milk from buffaloes that are raised just behind the building. While most of the cheese displayed is unpackaged and ready to slice or scoop on request, some pieces are labeled with Caseificio Inno al Sole’s logo: a buffalo atop the words La Maremmana, which refers to Maremma, this particular part of Southern Tuscany. Though buffalo milk cheeses are generally associated with the Campania region of Italy, the Pallini family (who owns Caseificio Inno al Sole) has kept buffalos on this land for more than thirty years.
The Pallinis have a history of working in agriculture that reaches as far back as the seventeenth century. While the choice to raise buffalos in Maremma was unusual when they first began doing so in the 1980’s and remains uncommon today, the family has demonstrated over many years that it is possible to honor tradition while also seeking to innovate. In fact, it was only in 2012 that Guido Pallini founded Caseificio Inno al Sole and the La Maremmana brand. After decades of selling their buffalo milk to cheese-makers, Guido decided to transform the family business and begin producing cheese directly on the property.
Today Caseificio Inno al Sole is widely known for its excellent mozzarella di bufala, along with many other buffalo milk cheeses, including burrata, ricotta, and several aged cheeses. They also sell yogurt, gelato and even cappuccinos made with buffalo milk, all of which can be enjoyed on-site in the cheese shop or on the patio out front.
Visitors can also participate in a guided tour of the cheese factory in which they learn about the Pallini family’s profound commitment to producing high quality cheeses in an ethical and sustainable way. Every step of the cheese-making process is completed on the property, from growing the crops that feed the buffalos through to forming the balls of mozzarella by hand. While La Maremmana cheese can be found throughout Italy and abroad, only a visit to Caseificio Inno al Sole allows you to fully appreciate their cheese.
Elena Valeriote is a food, farming, and travel writer who specializes in sharing stories that center on sustainability and sense of place. Though born and raised in California, Elena is currently based in Tuscany.
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