Until now, the pizza sold in Moscow only vaguely resembled the American-style pie.

It usually consisted of a thick, doughy crust smeared with tomato paste. Toppings, when available, included canned, cold tomatoes, sardines, chopped egg or lumps of salt pork.So it was no surprise when a crowd of Muscovites lined up in Lenin Hills on Tuesday for pizza from a specially equipped van that is part of a joint economic venture involving a New Jersey company.

Nearly 1,200 slices, costing $2.10 each, were dispensed by the mobile pizzeria in a three-hour period by midafternoon. Workers couldn't say exactly how many slices were sold because some were given away.

"The reaction is extraordinary," said Louis Piancone, president of Roma Food Enterprises in Piscataway, N.J., at the van's first day of operation in Moscow. "We'll be moving through the city to determine what the market is for opening pizza restaurants. Judging from today at just this location, there's a market."