Cheese wrapped with transparent plastic stretch film isolated on white
The Ammonia Problem With Wrapping Cheese In Plastic
By Betsy Parks
From snacking on crackers to building charcuterie boards, each American eats around 40 pounds of cheese per year, but not many spend time thinking about how to store it. It might be common practice to wrap your leftover cheese in plastic, but this can ruin your cheese's flavor.
Cheese is filled with good bacteria, which break down the lactic acid in the milk, producing ammonia. When cheese is wrapped in plastic for too long, the ammonia becomes trapped, which can build up over time and seriously affect the cheese's flavor, giving it a strong ammonia smell and plastic taste.
Instead, you should re-wrap your cheese in cheese paper, butcher paper, or even wax paper to allow the ammonia to escape. Once you have your cheese in a breathable bundle, store it in your fridge's vegetable crisper drawers, as they have more humidity and will maintain a constant temperature of around 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Luckily, there's potentially a chance to salvage cheese wrapped in plastic — leave it out, unwrapped, for an hour or so to let the ammonia dissipate. However, if your cheese still smells like window cleaner after that, you should toss it in the garbage and get some fresh cheese.