Reader Neil asks if it’s the proportion of sugar in a meringue that primarily determines its texture. There’s no question the amount of sugar is a big part of it, Neil, though process is also important. As a general rule, the earlier you add sugar to your egg whites the smaller the bubbles will be in the foam and the finer and denser your meringue will be. You can create an extremely light — though not terribly stable — meringue by folding powdered sugar into a finished egg white foam. By contrast you can make a very thick, glossy and stable meringue by combining egg whites with sugar or sugar syrup at the outset and whipping them both together (Swiss Meringue works this way). Most meringues are somewhere in the middle: you whip your whites to the soft peak stage or so, then add sugar to finish. The result is a sturdy, general-purpose meringue that’s good for a lot of things. Great question, Neil!