Rocket Joe and the Sesame Slice
Rocket Joe sat in the window of his Delancey Street pizzeria reading the Post. If you saw him through the window, you might mistake him for Kurt Vonnegut. His frizzy hair and mustache were heavily sprinkled with flour, making him look almost blond. He sat in front of a half-eaten portion of stuffed shells in a foil carryout container.
"Why are the crusts of your pizzas coated with sesame seeds," the reporter asked, holding a half-eaten plain slice, which was exceedingly good, with decent cheese and slightly sweet sauce, as is preferred East Village places like Stromboli's.
Joe looked up in acknowledgement of the question, and the reporter continued. "Is it Sicilian? You know Sicily is only 90 miles from North Africa."
Joe pushed his glasses up on his nose and cleared his throat.
"Is it a Middle Eastern thing?" The reporter continued, desperately looking for meaning in the pizza universe.
Rocket Joe batted away the question as if he were swatting a lob into left field. "I invented it. Seven years ago. I was the first one to put sesame seeds on the crust. People don't mind it."
The reporter assured him no one would mind it. In fact, he himself rather liked it.