Last night as I was leaving work and coming down from the Pru, there was an interesting factoid shown on the screen in the elevator regarding cinnamon. Apparently cinnamon has a number of antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. I did some further digging on the internet and found, for example, that studies have shown cinnamon can eliminate E. coli in unpasteurized apple cider as well as inhibit growth of harmful bacteria like the food-borne pathogenic Bacillus cereus. Now it makes all the sense in the world what I read in Modernist Cuisine regarding the typical seasoning of Medieval cuisine. In Volume 1, the book goes into the whole history and origins of our food, and apparently during the Middle Ages, most cuisine across Europe was essentially the same, featuring imported spices such as pepper, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. If hygiene and sanitation were particularly poor (as they were at the time), heavily seasoning foods with spices having inherent virus and bacterial fighting properties would be ideal and more likely a result of health / safety / survival reasons than perhaps taste.