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Global cheese experts converge in Milwaukee

Posted at 7:07 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 23:26:16-04

The 2016 International Cheese Technology Expo has brought together cheese experts from all over the globe.

The Wisconsin Center is hosting the 3,500 attendees who are all clamoring to get a look at the latest and greatest in cheese-making technology.

One company, Ms. J and Company, is working to transition Wisconsin into a state that's known for more than just cheese made from cow's milk.

"There's a lot of sheep milk cheeses being imported from Spain and Portugal," said Mariana Marques de Almeida, an animal scientist and cheese specialist, "So the whole project is to develop the milk production in sheep. Afterward we can have good quality and then make the cheeses here instead of importing them."

Ms. J and  Company brought Marques de Almeida to Wisconsin to help broaden the state's cheese plate.

"That's what we would like to have accomplished in Wisconsin-- not only cow but also sheep and goat cheeses," she said.

College students from around the country are proving they are cheese whizkids. Cube by cube, expo attendees munched on cheeses the students made, like honey bacon cheddar and pickle wrap artisan cheese.

Nicole Jax, a senior at South Dakota State University, is one of the students competing in the cheese challenge. "Each of these cheeses are ones we've dreamed up and made a reality," she said.

The students are being judged so there is a lot at stake. "Our lowest scoring cheese here today was a 98.5 so in our books that's an A," Jax said.

The 2016 International Cheese Technology Expo runs through April 14 at the Wisconsin Center.