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I was always told to use fresh eggs when making meringues but was never told why.

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    I don't know if it's the reason, but older eggs have weaker membranes, and so you're more likely to break a yolk when you try to separate the egg – Joe Apr 4 at 17:04
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Less than fresh eggs can be used, but as eggs get older changes begin to happen to its internal chemistry. For one eggs become less acidic as they age.

Meringues benefit from acidity:

Acid delays coagulation, which means that there is more time for air to get trapped in amongst the proteins, resulting in a lighter meringue.

Refer to this question which tackles the value of acidity in a meringue.

Other changes happen to the egg as well which may have an impact. Water is transferred from the egg white to the egg yolk, the egg white loses some carbon dioxide, and so on. All of this may have an impact, even if minor, on meringues. Using fresh eggs allows you to keep these variables in check.

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    Acidity may be corrected with a pinch of cream tartar, lemon juice or vinegar. – roetnig Apr 4 at 17:57
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From my own personal experience, I've always found using aged egg whites made fabulous meringues. Aging the whites in a covered bowl removes some of the water content for a more stable aeration.

  • Thanks so much that has answered a burning question – Kay-LeeWilliams Apr 4 at 13:44

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