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Growing on a decaying hardwood log.
They're considered by many to be a gourmet edible, with a wonderfully chewy texture and taste slightly reminiscent of seafood. Many liken it to the taste of shrimp or lobster. Also considered a medicinal mushroom. It contains molecules known as hericenones and erinacines, two compounds suspected to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a protein necessary for nerve cells that send information to the brain to function properly. Lack of NGF is considered a cause of certain neurological problems such as Alzheimer's and dementia.