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It Is Said In Anushirwan's Cookbook That He Who Wants His Health To Last Should Not Eat Foods That Have Spent A Night In A Copper Container

This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

It is said in Anushirwan's cookbook that he who wants his health to last should not eat foods that have spent a night in a copper container, for even very good foods, if they spend a night in a copper container, or are prepared therein, reach a bad state and cause revulsion. He also says that fish, if fried and then put in a copper container, or prepared in one and left there until they are fried, are spoiled, because these foods take the force and flavor of the copper the moment that the fish, milk, and any such food left overnight uncovered, is disturbed. Maggots creep out at night, seek out salt and collect it, for most insects and maggots seek out salt wherever it is, and sometimes their spittle falls on it, and they rub against it to loosen their skins, and this is a great harm. For this reason one should put on foods no more salt than what is dissolved in them, or cover them carefully. Another thing to avoid is always cooking in a single pot, especially if it is not enamelled; many servants don't wash the pot emptied of food and turn it over on the ground while still warm, and that spot might be conducive to rot, and vapors from the ground rise into the pot and poisons are composed between the two, and everything cooked in it turns bad. There was a person who ordered that pots be prepared according to the number of days in the year, so that a new pot was cooked in every day, and when a pot was emptied, a new one was taken; he who cannot do this, orders his servants to clean the pot every night with hot water and bran, for this is what inclines the spirit to accept food, and if this is not done the spirit has an aversion to the food, and the food takes on a bad taste, because its remaining there long makes it corrupt and not what it should be. It is proper to try to do this, and not to scorn it, and thus to protect against harm as much as possible.


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