Rochelle, I was primarily a vegetarian before enrolling in culinary school as well - no meat for at least 10 years! Like you, I started off only tasting the meat dishes that we prepared, but over time, I found myself "giving in" and enjoying the incredible flavors of various meats. Once I opened up my mind and palate again to all these options, I was amazed at how much my taste buds and preferences had changed from the time before I was a vegetarian. I had never tried duck, lamb, veal, venison, rabbit; I rarely ate pork products; ate chicken all the time. Now I find that I am attracted (make that addicted, in the case of any cured pork products) to meats with big, bold flavors - the chicken I once loved now seems boring by comparison. Now that I've recently finished school, I find that I have reverted back to my more vegetarian diet, especially when I am cooking at home, although I do indulge my cravings for prosciutto and serrano and order meat dishes in restaurants once in a while if their preparation sounds really interesting. Speaking of that first hamburger - I had mine on St. Paddy's day this year - in a small rough-and-tumble Irish bar in Manhattan. My friends and I only intended to pop in for a quick pint, and then found ourselves laughing and drinking, sharing stories all night with a group of rambunctious firemen. After indulging in a few too many (and not having eaten anything in hours), I found myself ravenous. One of the guys had ordered a big, juicy burger and dangled it in front of me, offering a bit of forbidden fruit. After less than a momen't hesitation, I pounced, not once, but at least three times. I wonder if the carnivorous look in my eyes and the salivating fangs that suddenly appeared scared anyone. It tasted sooooo good. And once I had unleashed the beast, I couldn't stop. I had another hamburger (my own, that I didn't have to share!) late that night before I hopped the train home!