by By Allen J. Sheinman | February 01, 2011

Pleasant surprises make meals memorable. These ingredients have been pegged as this year's hot trends by hospitality and restaurant consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Co.

1. Pimento cheese. It's smooth, spicy and spreadable.

2. Neck meat. Lamb, beef, goat and pork necks are tasty.

3. Whey. Way cool in salads and sauces.

4. Kumquats. Great in salads and desserts.

5. Smoked garnishes. Dishes are being topped off with smoked olive oil, smoked butter or smoked cumin.

6. Hay. It's used for roasting, smoking and braising.

7. Popcorn. Sweet or spicy, it even works as a crispy crust on meats or fish.

8. Sherry. This quaint quaff is back in style.

9. Beer in sweets. Belly up to the dessert bar for ice cream and cakes made with brew.

10. Honey. Sweet in sauces, dressings.