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Street Food: Why Nanna Jude's bagels are the best

Cambridge's street food scene just got even tastier, thanks to Nanna Jude's traditional-with-a-twist bagels, as Velvet discovers

Nanna Jude’s Bagel Bar, the latest addition to Cambridge’s ever-vibrant street food scene, is a passion project for founder Sam Partridge. Inspired to seize the day by last year’s lockdowns, he downed tools as tiler and bathroom fitter to bring the food of his forefathers - with his own modern twist - to the city’s streets.

Hailing from first Bratislava then Austria, there are numerous cooks on his family tree: his great-grandfather ran a bratwurst business and his grandmother, Eugene, was a brilliant baker. Jewish and forced to flee by the Nazis, Eugene settled in London where she taught her daughter - Judith, Sam’s mum - to make salt-cured pickled herring, strudel from tissue-thin handmade filo, and, of course, bagels.

“All this stuff was passed to me by my mother, Judy - hence Nanna Jude’s,” explains Sam. “Unfortunately she died in 2012 and, cherishing the history passed to me, I made more and more of her food more regularly; maybe a comfort thing for me. But it wasn't until my father, Tony, died last year that I decided I wanted to pass on that history and create something special to honour it. And so, out of lockdown, Nanna Jude’s Bagel Bar was born.”

With fillings spanning smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, salt beef, gherkins and mustard and the signature melt, which sees the beef topped with oozy molten smoked cheese, the Nanna Jude’s van serves at pitches across the city, including Coldham’s Lane, Chesterton and Trumpington - visit facebook.com/cambridgebagelbuilders for weekly schedules.

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