Church Street: Anjuman-e-Ezzi Masjid
Church Street: St. Stephen Lutheran

I'm In Big Trouble

When I was a kid, there was a candy store in downtown DC that specialized in caramels.

Velati's. The promised land of caramel.

The store was at 9th and G Streets. It sold  vanilla and chocolate caramels in two styles: crumbly and chewy. I'm pretty sure there were other flavors, and I know there were varieties with nuts.

My Pop would sometimes stop at Velati's on his way home from work and pick up a pound of the delicious confections (always vanilla; half crumbly, half chewy) for my Mom. I believe that they were her preferred peace offering.

On these momentous occasions, we kids might get one piece each. It was really tough deciding between crumbly and chewy. Crumblies dissolved easily and did not pull out your filling or get stuck between your teeth; chewies were smooth and lasted a good long time. Either way, you won.

Alas, Velati's went out of business in the 70s, but sold the recipe to Woodward and Lothrop, a very posh Washington department store. You could still get your Velati's fix, but somehow it wasn't quite the same. Then Woodies, too, went out of business.

Eventually, some former customers bought the recipes and began a mail-order business. Mom started to order two pounds of Velati's every Christmas: one pound for my brother-in-law and one pound for her. I always got to place the order; as a reward, I got a piece or two.

But now, miracle of miracles, there is an actual brick-and-mortar Velati's store in Silver Spring!


I stopped in on my way home last Friday. The store owner was lovely; she listened to my tales of Velati's with great patience and offered me a sample crumbly (they call it "sugary" but it's really crumbly) vanilla.


I took a bite, and just like Marcel Proust, was transported to another time.

The store has several flavors and other products -- I'm dying to try the vanilla caramel crumbles -- including vanilla caramels with sea salt.

I shivered a little as I typed that, they are so good.

I promptly bought a pound -- half vanilla crumbly, half vanilla-with-salt chewy.

They are almost gone.

I just wish the prices were the same as they were when my Pop was buying peace offerings for my Mom.