Several years ago I stumbled across a woman at a farmer's market who was peddling some type of garlic displayed in a large wicker basket. The waft of smokiness, both woodsy & intoxicating, was in the air and it drew me in for a closer look. It was garlic she had smoked over a spent wood fire, I was intrigued. I bought two bulbs, took them home, squeezed each clove out of the bulb into a small glass dish then drizzled the cloves with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, as instructed by the woman from the stand at the farmer's market.
I put one or two cloves onto a fresh thick slice of baguette bread, gave it a smear with a butter knife and took a bite. I was hooked. So incredibly sweet yet pungent, smokey yet smooth. I went back the following Saturday, engaged the woman on the 'how to' and asked 'please tell me your story'. Her name is Tina. As she explained her method of smoking the garlic, I wanted to go home with her to her farm, open a bottle of wine and watch the process first hand. That never happened, however, she appreciated my interest and shared a picture perfect story of her method. I felt as if I was already there.
One day I may live in a community where I can make a funky cool grill in the ground made out of cinder blocks - until then, I'm going suburban style and smoking the garlic in a little metal smoking pan on my gas grill. lol It works yet it lacks the earthiness Tina had from her 'throw it on the spent firewood' technique.