Reviews of recently released culinary books from Anka Muhlstein, Barbara Ann Kipfer and more

By EW Staff
Updated November 18, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

Balzac’s Omelette
Anka Muhlstein
Muhlstein’s gastronomic and cultural tour of 19th-century France is concocted from food references in Balzac’s work.

The Culinarian
Barbara Ann Kipfer
This kitchen encyclopedia defines every ingredient and culinary term under the sun, and it offers fun sidebars like ”Food Clichés” and ”Fruits That Ripen After Picking.”

Culinary Reactions
Simon Quellen Field
What makes cream whip? Why does broccoli turn dark if you boil it too long? Field explains the chemistry of cooking for the everyday gourmand.

Pastry Paris
Susan Hochbaum
These photos, a sweet feast for the eyes, are proof that everything about Paris can remind you of dessert if you look hard — and hungrily — enough.

Serious Eats
Ed Levine et al.
The expert chowhounds from one of the best food blogs out there have compiled a comprehensive guide to good eats no matter where you live.