Submitted by ub on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 15:09

Watching a few dozen experts nibble on cheese and spit them into the garbage may not appear to be an elegant experience to most, but hundreds of cheese lovers have paid $25 for a close-up view of today's World Championship Cheese Contest.

This is actually the very first year the international contest has charged admission, which historically have been low-key affairs where a handful of spectators and reporters participate.

But with a growing number of foodies seeking to outdo each other in their pursuit of local, sustainable, organic and handcrafted fare, the artisan cheese competition has become a hot ticket among those looking to get their cheese.

Say cheese and enjoy the Madison, Wisconsin event. In addition to the conference sessions, they will be hosting a Networking Room, which will provide a day-long opportunity for conference participants to network with one another, conference presenters, and conference sponsors.