'Outlaw Cook' was a revelation. Folks like Jeff Smith and Marcella Hazan got me interested in cooking, but John Thorne pushed me into the path that I follow to this day. This is the only cookbook I've ever read that understands how men really eat: over the sink, in the dark, greasy to the elbows.
A meringue is really nothing but a foam. And what is a foam after all, but a big collection of bubbles? And what's a bubble? It's basically a very flimsy little latticework of proteins draped with water. We add sugar to this structure, which strengthens it. But things can, and do, go wrong.