Harvests VERY early in season, often May or June - stores into fall or even until winter.
Asiatic garlics typically have about eight cloves per bulb in a circular configuration around a central scape. They're generally large bulbs with fat cloves. The bulb wrappers are firm, tight and vivid with broad, bold purple stripes merging into areas of solid purple. A very strongly colored garlic. The clove covers are silky and a lovely golden tan with a rosy aura and tiny pink veins. It is one of the very first cultivars planted in the fall and the first harvested in the spring around here.
Asian Tempest is an early harvesting hot, strong weakly-bolting Asiatic garlic at a time when nobody else has any. That's reason enough to grow it right there. If you grow it in conjunction with longer storing garlics, you can have good garlic year around.
Asian Tempest came from South Korea and when you first bite into a clove suddenly your entire mouth seems to explode in flames, your face turns red and you break out in an instant heavy sweat. The fire rages hotter and hotter for about 30 to 45 seconds and you begin to wonder what to do about it, then it begins to gently dissipate and is almost gone at the end of one minute leaving you to discover the rich earthy garlickness hiding behind the heat. It took 30 to 45 minutes for the hair on the back of my neck to dry-just from a half of a clove.
I no longer wonder where fire breathing dragons come from in Asian folklore - they're ordinary people who have eaten too much of these fiery garlics.
While it is not the hottest garlic I have ever tasted, (Romanian Red is) it isn't any too far behind. In my limited experience, (I've only tasted 50 kinds) Metechi and Skuri #2 (Purple Stripes) are a little hotter and perhaps Wild Buff and Rosewood, too-both porcelains. If you want a powerful early harvesting garlic that will leave you breathless, or should I say breathful, try a few of these Chinese firecrackers, they should have a very high allicin potential and be good medicinal or insecticide garlics-but make sure your fire insurance premiums are paid up first.
NOTE: Buy Asian Tempest from the following growers - Know for sure where your food comes from and what's in it.