Discover the Delicious Taste of Saveloy: A Traditional British Sausage Worth Trying Out Today

Posted by

The saveloy is a vibrant red, highly seasoned sausage that is usually boiled and often found in fish and chip shops across Britain. In some cases, it’s served fried in batter, adding a crispy texture to its already savory flavor.

Related posts

The term “saveloy” is believed to come from Middle French “cervelas” or “servelat,” which stems from Old Italian “cervella” meaning “pig’s brains.” The first recorded use of this word in English dates back to 1784. In Italy, “cervellato” is still used to describe a sausage, though it’s generally longer and thinner than its British counterpart.

While saveloys were once made from pork brains, modern recipes use a blend of pork (58%), water, rusk, pork fat, potato starch, salt, emulsifiers (tetrasodium diphosphate, disodium diphosphate), white pepper, spices, dried sage, preservatives (sodium nitrite, potassium nitrate), and a beef collagen casing.

Saveloys are often eaten with chips, making them a staple in the traditional fish-and-chip shop scene. In the northeast of England, they are sometimes enjoyed in a “saveloy dip” sandwich, where the bread roll is dipped in the water used to boil the saveloy, or in gravy, then filled with stuffing, pease pudding, and a touch of English mustard. Outside of the northeast, saveloys are commonly served alongside chips in fish and chip shops throughout England and Wales.

The saveloy has also found a home in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s often deep-fried in batter, earning it the nickname “battered sav.” In Australia, the saveloy is usually a blend of beef and pork, while in New Zealand, it’s typically a combination of lamb, pork, and beef. These sausages are a common sight in fish-and-chip shops, and can also be bought in supermarkets for simmering at home.

The Australian variant has an interesting history. In a court case from the early 20th century, the saveloy was described as a “highly seasoned dry sausage originally made of brains, but now young pork, salted.” By the mid-century, it was more commonly defined by its size, at 19 cm (7.5 in), as opposed to a frankfurter’s 26 cm (10 in). The extra seasoning and thickness distinguish saveloys from other sausages like frankfurters.

Despite rumors that saveloys were renamed from frankfurters due to anti-German sentiment during World War I, this claim is largely apocryphal, especially in Australia.

Saveloys are the basis for the New Zealand “hot dog,” a battered-sausage-on-a-stick similar to the American corn dog. In Australia, these sausages are often called “dagwood dogs” at showgrounds, while the “pluto pup” is a pre-prepared product using frankfurters instead of saveloys.

In South Australia and Tasmania, the “sav and roll” was a popular football snack, especially at country matches. This involved a saveloy heated in a wood-fired boiler, placed in a bread roll, and generously covered with tomato sauce.

Smaller versions of saveloys, called “cocktail sausages,” are popular in Australia and New Zealand, known as “baby savs,” “footy franks,” or “cheerios.” These are common at children’s parties and are typically served with tomato sauce.

Interestingly, a type of hot dog similar to the saveloy is popular in Maine, USA, where it’s commonly referred to as a “red hot” or “red snapper.”

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments