Have you noticed how sugar is making its way back into the rotation of spices?
Last night, we had a big, thick salmon steak. I rubbed it with some Indonesian curry, and then jacked the rub with some cinnamon, some kosher salt, and a sprinkling of sugar. 30 minutes in the refrigerator, and then 40 minutes in the stovetop smoker (oak chips). It turned out very nicely -- brown and a little crusty outside, nicely cooked meat.
We had it with salt-crust potatoes and a little bit of fennel broth (a leftover fennel top, some about-to-be-discarded celery leftovers, a shallot, 4c of water, 1t fennel seeds and an allspice berry). Reduce to about 1.5c, filter.