Chocolate lovers: Look forward to indulging in 2010 with two new organic and fair trade bars from Equal Exchange. Well-known for helping to pioneer the fair trade movement in the U.S., Equal Exchange is ever-expanding —  this time with an Orange Dark Chocolate bar and Panama Extra Dark Chocolate bar.

Read through the all-organic ingredient list, and you’ll notice these yummies are made with simple, recognizable ingredients with no weird additives or synthetic stuff. The Orange Dark Chocolate’s got a powerful fruity kick in its 65 percent cacao content bar while the Panama Extra Dark Chocolate, with a very high 80 percent cacao content, is a dark chocolate lover’s dream.

As with all Equal Exchange products, these chocolate bars are made via fairer partnerships with small farmer-owned co-operatives. The fair trade chocolate comes from the Dominican Republic, Panama and Peru, the fair trade sugar from Paraguay and Costa Rica, and fair trade vanilla from Madagascar.

Honestly, I’m more of a milk chocolate girl — so while I enjoyed the Orange Dark Chocolate, I found the Panama Extra Dark Chocolate a bit too intense. If you’re a dark chocolate person though, I strongly encourage you to give this bar a try! For a more detailed review of Equal exchange's other chocolate bars from a serious candy lover's perspective, read Cybele May's expert opinions at Candyblog.

You can find Equal Exchange chocolate bars — and coffee, tea, and other snacks — at Whole Foods stores, many neighborhood co-op stores, and online at Equal Exchange’s web store. Each bar costs $4.25.

Dark pleasures for eco-ethical chocoholics
Enjoy new gourmet organic dark chocolate bars -- from a company at the forefront of the fair trade movement.