What is a Saveloy?

What is a saveloy? If you have read my blog on the correct way to eat fish and chips, you will have an idea, but to give a full (ish) explanation. A saveloy is a highly seasoned sausage, usually bright red (pink in the middle), and a staple of our fish and chip shops.

Whenever I am personally back in the UK there are a few go-to foods that I truly miss, one is an English style kebab with burger sauce, another is saveloy and chips. What makes it unique is hard to say, but from all my travels I have to find something even vaguely similar, well not yet anyway. So, without further ado, lets get sausaging on Saveloys

Why is it called a saveloy?

No one is particularly sure, but it probably derives from the Latin word “cerebrus” a pig brain (yum) sausage that was invented in Switzerland. The original saveloy being made from pig brains. This is not for certain, but is the suspected reason for its name.

So, what is in a saveloy?

Easy, I am getting there OK! As per its Swiss cousin, the original saveloy was made with pig brains, but nowadays it goes as follows – typically pork (58%), water, rusk, pork fat, potato starch, salt, emulsifiers (tetrasodium diphosphate, disodium diphosphate), white pepper, spices, dried sage (sage), preservatives (sodium nitrite, potassium nitrate), and beef collagen casing. Sadly this is the modern day world of mass produced foods, but whatever them chemicals are they truly do make a great tasting saveloy.

chips with sausage and chis with a saveloy
Fish and chips! – Sausage and Chips vs Saveloy and Chips

Saveloy vs Sausage – What is the difference?

Do you know the phrase all dogs are animals so, therefore, are all animals are dogs? It’s like that. Sausages form a very very broad church, whilst our humble sav is merely a form of highly-seasoned sausages.

Can you get a saveloy outside of the UK?

Apparently they’re a thing in Australia, and New Zealand, both former British colonies, and both with a good chip shop culture. Alas, I have not tried one in either.

Apparently there’s also a frankfurter in Maine (USA) that is fairly indistinguishable to the sav, served ala Americano hot-dog style.

Has anyone famous eaten a saveloy?

Lots probably, but Fagin eats one in Oliver Twist, not only that, but Oliver even sings about the saveloy “Pease pudding and Saveloy, what next is the question. Rich gentlemen have it boys indigestion”.

Thank you Lionel Bart, but WTF is pease pudding? You can read that here.

How do you eat a saveloy?

Well, its a sausage, so you eat it like a sausage, what I will talk about here is how it is served. Again traditionally it is available at fish and chip shops throughout the land and is boiled rather than fried.

Saveloys are a big deal in the North-East of England and can be purchased from butcher shops. I have yet to try this, but you cook it and eat it in a sandwich with pease pudding, a very English savoury pudding, that I might write about at some point.

Do you have any other pointless information about saveloys?

Yes, I am glad you asked. When I was a kid in the South-East of England we would say oi oi saveloy when seeing a friend, typically one we had not seen for a long time.

And that’s everything you ever needed to know about the humble saveloy! You are welcome!

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