Chocolate is a sweet, brown food preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds, made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Olmecs, with evidence of chocolate beverages dating to 1900 BC; the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including Aztecs. The word "chocolate" is derived from the Spanish word chocolate, which in turn derive from the Classical Nahuatl word xocolātl; the seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried and roasted; the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are ground to cocoa mass, unadulterated chocolate in rough form. Once the cocoa mass is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquor; the liquor may be cooled and processed into its two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Baking chocolate called bitter chocolate, contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions, without any added sugar.

Powdered baking cocoa, which contains more fiber than it contains cocoa butter, can be processed with alkali to produce dutch cocoa. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or added vegetable oils, sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter and milk, but no cocoa solids. Chocolate is one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, many foodstuffs involving chocolate exist desserts, including cakes, mousse, chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are coated with sweetened chocolate. Chocolate bars, either made of solid chocolate or other ingredients coated in chocolate, are eaten as snacks. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes are traditional on certain Western holidays, including Christmas, Valentine's Day, Hanukkah. Chocolate is used in cold and hot beverages, such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate, in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao.

Although cocoa originated in the Americas, West African countries Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, are the leading producers of cocoa in the 21st century, accounting for some 60% of the world cocoa supply. With some two million children involved in the farming of cocoa in West Africa, child slavery and trafficking were major concerns in 2018. However, international attempts to improve conditions for children were failing because of persistent poverty, absence of schools, increasing world cocoa demand, more intensive farming of cocoa, continued exploitation of child labor. Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, dates chocolate's preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating earlier, to 1900 BC; the residues and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial use of cacao was not as a beverage, but the white pulp around the cacao beans was used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink.

An early Classic-period Mayan tomb from the site in Rio Azul had vessels with the Maya glyph for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink, suggests the Maya were drinking chocolate around 400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life; the Maya grew cacao trees in their backyards, used the cacao seeds the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink. By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture, they associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice and honey; the Aztecs were unable to grow cacao themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire.

Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they deemed "tribute". Cocoa beans were used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 cacao beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans; the Maya and Aztecs associated cacao with human sacrifice, chocolate drinks with sacrificial human blood. The Spanish royal chronicler Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo described a chocolate drink he had seen in Nicaragua in 1528, mixed with achiote: "because those people are fond of drinking human blood, to make this beverage seem like blood, they add a little achiote, so that it turns red.... and part of that foam is left on the lips and around the mouth, when it is red for having achiote, it seems a horrific thing, because it seems like blood itself." Until the 16th century, no European had heard of the popular drink from the Central American peoples. Christopher Columbus and his son Ferdinand encountered the cacao bean on Columbus's fourth mission to the Americas on 15 August 1502, when he and his crew seized a large native canoe that proved to contain cacao beans among other goods for trade.

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may

Kyle Hotz

Kyle Hotz is an American comic book artist and writer. Hotz's work has appeared in series published by Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics. Hotz graduated with a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1993. While still in the final year he started working as a comic book artist on horror titles such as Slash and Cold Blooded. After finishing school he was hired by Malibu Comics to illustrate the superhero comic Night Man, he was soon noticed by Marvel, who employed him on titles such as Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider 2099 and two Carnage one-shots. He went on to draw most of the popular Marvel characters, such as Spider-Man, Captain America and Venom. In 2000 he co-created the Marvel supervillain The Hood with writer Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated two eponymous series. In parallel with his Marvel work, Hotz drew several mini-series for independent publishers such as Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing, he co-created Epilogue with writer Steve Niles, illustrated The Agency, both wrote and illustrated the creator-owned graphic novel Mosaic for Sirius Entertainment.

He collaborated with writer Eric Powell on three 4-issue series featuring a fictional version of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, under the common title of Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities. Hotz has said to be influenced by the works of Kelley Jones, Armando Gil, Michael Golden, Bernie Wrightson, Jack Davis and Nestor Redondo. In addition to them he has expressed admiration for Eric Powell, Tony Moore, James O'Barr and Simon Bisley. Detective Comics #1006–1007 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night #1 Justice League Dark #20, 23 Ghost Rider 2099 #6–8, 10–12 Carnage: Mind Bomb #1 Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life #1 Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal #1 The Incredible Hulk #29 The Hood #1–6 Captain Marvel #7–8 Agent X #12 Man-Thing #1–3 Black Panther 2099 #1 Punisher: Silent Night #1 Zombie #1–4 Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith #1–4 The Zombie: Simon Garth #1–4 Dark Reign: The Hood #1–5 Spider-Island: Heroes for Hire #1 Web of Venom: Venom Unleashed #1 Immortal Hulk #14 The Night Man #4–10 Curse of Rune #1–3 Evil Ernie: Destroyer #1–9 Mosaic #1–6 The Agency #1–6 Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities #1–4 Criminal Macabre: Feat of Clay #1 Criminal Macabre: Two Red Eyes #1–4 Epilogue #1–4 Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London #1–4 Ghostbusters: Infestation #1–2 Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness #1–4 Kyle Hotz at the Grand Comics Database Kyle Hotz at the Comic Book DB

Dellys Starr

Dellys Starr is a retired Australian amateur mountain biker. She has won two Australian national championship titles in the women's cross-country race, represented her nation Australia, as a 31-year-old veteran, at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in her home turf and at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Starr resides in Colorado Springs, where she shares with her husband and American cyclist Ryan Starr. Competing for the Australian cycling team since 1997, Starr soared higher on the international mountain biking scene, as she took home her first Australian national championship title in 2006. Strong results landed her a spot on the nation's official roster at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, where she finished fifth in the women's cross-country race. Starr qualified for the Australian squad, as a lone female rider, in the women's cross-country race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by finishing first from the Australian Championships and by receiving an invitational berth from the Union Cycliste Internationale based on her best performance at the UCI World Championships.

With only two laps left to go before crossing the finish line, Starr suffered a heat-related fatigue and instead pulled off directly from a 4.8-km sturdy, treacherous cross-country course, finishing only in twenty-sixth place. Australian Olympic Team Profile NBC Olympics Profile at the Wayback Machine Dellys Starr at Cycling Archives