roly-poly pudding a widely used name for a suet pudding made in a roll shape. The name is generally given to a pudding with a sweet filling such as jam, or treacle and breadcrumbs, or mixed dried fruits with marmalade; in each case spread over the flat sheet of dough and rolled up. However, there are also savoury types, for example bacon pudding (see bacon), which was often made in this shape.
The lasting fame of the name was conferred by Beatrix Potter’s quietly horrifying book The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly Poly Pudding (1908) in which the stuffing of the pudding was a savoury one. The hero, Tom Kitten, was to be the stuffing, but fortunately he escaped.