Daphne Zepos, an internationally known authority on cheese whose expertise encompassed the buying of it, the selling of it, the making of it and above all the almost transcendental experience of eating it, died on Tuesday at her home in San Francisco. She was 52.

The cause was lung cancer, her husband, Brad Brown, said.

A writer, teacher, consultant, importer, chef and cheese-competition judge, Ms. Zepos was, as The New York Times wrote in 2005, “one of the most respected voices in the field of American cheese.” (In this accolade, “American cheese” does not denote American cheese.)

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