To begin with, copper is a mineral that occurs naturally in the human body. But the myths and mystique surrounding copper as a metal are many and imaginative. For instance, the metal has also been credited with curing arthritis. And many a tennis player attributes the alleviation of his elbow problems to wearing a pure copper bracelet on the opposite arm. But talk with an orthopedist and you're likely to hear that all that does is turn the braceleted wrist dark grayish black.
Copper cookware has its own share of long standing legends and some of them have a degree of truth to them. Some cooks are afraid to use it, regarding it as potentially "poisonous". Some are simply too lazy to give it the proper care. Some couldn't imagine making a sauce without it, or beating egg whites in anything other than an unlined copper bowl. Separating fact from fiction becomes challenging for the cook who isn't also a chemist.
Rachel Saunders of the Blue Chair Fruit Company making jam, and behind her on the stove you can see one of these pots. I emailed her, asking about the pot, and wondering whether the fact that it’s unlined copper is a problem. She pinged me right back and said this: “Actually, these are THE classic pots for jam making. Once the fruit has been combined with sugar, it will not react with the copper — in fact, quite the opposite; it does not affect the flavor at all, unlike aluminum and various other metals, and it makes the cooking SO much easier. I can’t recommend it enough; the only thing to remember is, don’t put fruit by itself into a copper kettle, or it will react!”