A saveloy is a type of highly seasoned sausage, usually bright red in colour, which is typically available in British fish and chips shops, sometimes fried in batter. The word is believed to originate from the Swiss-French cervelas or servelat, ultimately from the Latin cerebrus; originally a pig brain sausage particularly associated with Switzerland.
The saveloy's taste is similar to that of a frankfurter or red pudding. It is mostly eaten with chips, but occasionally also in a sandwich accompanied with pease pudding, stuffing, mustard or the brine of the sausage (known as its "gravy"). This is known as a "saveloy dip" in the north east of England, especially the town of South Shields with its long established "pork shops", as one half of the bread bun is dipped in gravy, in a similar manner to the French dip sandwich.
The saveloy is available in Australia, where it is consumed at fairs, fêtes, agricultural shows and sporting events, served on a slice of bread or in a bread roll, and liberally covered in tomato sauce. It is sometimes battered and known as a "battered sav". At the turn of the 20th century, the saveloy was described in an Australian court case as a "highly seasoned dry sausage originally made of brains, but now young pork, salted " but by the mid-century it was commonly defined by its size (a 19 inch sausage), "as opposed to a Frankfurter, 26" [inches]. This distinction may be due to the Frankfurter's popularisation (as an ingredient of hot-dogs). Despite 'frankfurter' sausage makers being the target of violence in World War I, the story that saveloys were once frankfurters, renamed due to anti-Germanic sentiment (like the House of Windsor ) is purely apocryphal, as far as Australia is concerned.
Saveloys are popular in New Zealand, where they are larger than the English type. Although they are sold at fish-and-chips shops as in England, they are commonly bought at butchers' shops or supermarkets and cooked by boiling at home. Saveloys are known colloquially as "savs". In fish-and-chip shops the traditional "hot-dog", which is a battered sausage on a stick, can be made from saveloy though more typically ordinary sausage. (A sausage in a long bread roll is called an "American hot dog" to distinguish it.) A beef version is found too. A cheerio is a smaller version, about half the size, sometimes called a cocktail sausage or a "little boy". These are a popular children's party food in New Zealand and Australia, often served hot in a sweet, spicy tomato sauce.